Sunday, 25 October 2015 09:59

Gran Canaria Weather: The Worst Has Passed

The worst of the bad weather that walloped Gran Canaria over the last five days is over, although we may get the odd strong shower today.

The latest on the GranCanaria weather. There could well be more rain tonight and tomorrow but things are likely to improve after the weekend.

Posted by Gran Canaria on Saturday, October 24, 2015

While Gran Canaria is still on a yellow aviso from the Spanish weather service and still on Maximum Alert from the Canarian weather service, it looks like the worst of the weather has blown over.

You can expect standard October weather as of tomorrow; sunshine with some afternoon clouds in the south and cloudy mornings that fade to sunshine in the north.

What happened

The last five days were exceptional. A big low pressure stayed close enough to send wave after wave of rain over the Canary Islands. It also disrupted the trade winds meaning that rain showers did blow over but stayed in one place.

This was the main cause of damage; when it rains in Gran Canaria and the Canary Islands the clouds tend to be moving fast due to the wind. With no wind, the intense rain hit small areas and caused flooding.

Rain of this intensity is almost unheard of in Gran Canaria and there isn't really anything the island can do to plan for it. We don't have flat areas that absorb rain, the bedrock is impermeable lava, and there isn't a thick layer of soil and vegetation to suck up excess water. When it rains hard, the water runs off and causes damage.

The damage

Considering the amount of water that fell, we are lucky that nobody was seriously hurt.

Damage was concentrated in the areas that got the heaviest rain; the capital Las Palmas and the east coast area in Telde. Other areas, such as the north coast and the highlands also saw strong rainfall but less damage.

Las Palmas got flooded roads, underground parking areas, and shopping centres, as well as collapsed walls and general water damage from strong running water. The island's main power plant and desalination plant took 800,000 euros of damage.

In the coastal areas of the Telde municipality, which received over 100mm of rain in an hour on Friday, the damage was more extensive. Cars were dragged into the sea at Ojos de Garza, beaches and beachfront promenades washed away at La Garita and Melenara, and roads damaged.

The damage has been so extensive that Gran Canaria is to declare itself a Zona Catastrófica or Disaster Area in order to qualify for Spanish state aid.

Want to see what the weather looks like right now?
Have a look at our webcam-page.

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Tip of the day

  • The Parafarmacia In Gran Canaria Is Not A Chemist!
    The Parafarmacia In Gran Canaria Is Not A Chemist!

    If there is one thing we hate it is visitors being tricked in Gran Canaria. In the past we've warned about overcharging at Gran Canaria chemists, and rip off electronics shops in resorts. 

    In this Tip Of The Day we return to the island's chemists or rather, to the island's fake chemists.

    A chemist in Gran Canaria is called a Farmacia and always has a green cross sign. Farmacias are the only place tobuy medicine in Spain, even basics like paracetamol.

    However, there is another kind of shop in Gran Canaria that looks and sounds like a chemist but doesn't sell medicine. This is the Parafarmacia and it also uses a green cross sign.

    A parafarmacia is a herbal medicine shop that is not allowed to sell any normal medicine such as paracetamol, ibuprofen or antibiotics. 

    Instead, parafarmacias sell herbal alternatives to medicine but don't have to prove that they work and they can charge whatever they want.

    We recently heard from a visitor to Gran Canaria who went into a parafarmacia and was charged 40 euros for a herbal alternative to Ibuprofen. It was only when they read the label that they realised what had happened. 

    To locate a genuine farmacia, see this website and search within your municipio (Puerto Rico is in Mogán, Playa del Inglés is in San Bartolomé de Tirajana). At weekends and on fiesta days many farmacias close but there is always one open, known as the farmacia de guardia, in each municipio.

    Search for the nearest one to you with this tool

    Lex Says: To keep costs down, see this article for the way to ask for generic medicine rather than expensive branded alternatives. 

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