UK tourists warned of worsening weather phenomenon in the Canary Islands

UK tourists are being warned about a weather phenomenon in the Canary Islands which is said to be worsening. As many holidaymakers look to venture to the likes of Tenerife or Lanzarote for their summer holidays, they're being urged to understand an unusual occurrence, known as 'the calima'.

The calima, or haze in English, is a sandstorm that engulfs the island in a dense cloud of hot, dusty wind which is blown in from the Sahara, Birmingham Live reports. Though such storms are said to be becoming less frequent, they are growing in intensity, meaning that if your break is disrupted by a calima, it will most likely be more severe than ever before.

The Canary Islands have experienced some 483 occurrences of a calima, since 1980. This equates to an annual average of around 24 affected days.

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Each episode of a calima typically lasts around 1.8 days, and the most intense storms usually occur in January and February, the Express reports. While this should be a silver lining for holidaymakers looking to jet off to the islands in the summer months, the government is urging them to be aware of the weather phenomenon, and has already issued pre-alert status for calima four times this year.

Despite this, reports suggest that your flights could be affected by a calima. In February 2020, a severe occurrence of the sandstorm led to the closure of all eight airports across the archipelago, which caused chaos for travellers.

If you find yourself caught in a calima, experts recommend staying inside with windows and doors closed, drinking plenty of fluids, and wearing face masks if you need to venture outside. Jim Dale, weather expert and co-author of the forthcoming book 'Surviving Extreme Weather', gave a warning to readers of The Express, saying: "It's not that heat and dust in suspension will be there on every occasion, but any airstream moving west of the Sahara (normally) will carry the risk."

"We are living in a changed world and visitors would do well to take note of the local warnings and what to do if caught up in such conditions."