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What's the weather in Lanzarote normally like in a particular month?

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Lanzarote weather facts:

Map of LanzaroteWith the exception of Fuerteventura, Lanzarote has the sunniest weather and records the least amount of rain out of all the Canary Islands. You're more likely to get a mouthful of dust than a sprinkling of rain during your holiday here.

Lanzarote is one of seven islands that make up the Canary archipelago. Lanzarote, together with the island of Fuerteventura, have rainfall totals of less than 150 millimetres (mm) 5.9 inches annually.

The weather in Lanzarote is quite pleasant throughout the year since it's located within the sub-tropical zone.

From April through to October, the weather in Lanzarote is under the influence of the moderate north-easterly winds (known as the trade winds). Outside of these months, the wind can come from any direction.

Daytime temperatures rarely rise above 32°C during the summer months. However, there are occasions when daytime temperatures can approach 40°C. This occurs when hot, dry easterly winds (coming from the Sahara desert) blows small plumes of high altitude dust over Lanzarote.




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Please note: the temperatures shown in the tables below are those recorded from Lanzarote airport (since this is the main meteorological station on Lanzarote).



What's the weather in Lanzarote like in Summer?

You can expect that most days in the summer will be quite windy since the north easterly trade winds amplify the afternoon sea breeze. El golfa bayThese winds pass over the cooler Canaries current and help lower the daytime maximum temperatures over the coastal and northern parts of the island.

The temperature throughout the whole of summer shouldn't vary much since the weather in Lanzarote is sub-tropical. You will notice that the southern part of the island is hotter and drier since it's sheltered from cooling trade winds.

Almost everyday in summer will be sunny with moderate humidity levels although the mornings can be quite cloudy. It's extremely rare for there to be any rain throughout the whole of summer.






Weather in June

You can expect very pleasant temperatures by night. Overnight, you can expect a minimum temperature of about 18°C and some nights may drop to 16°C. In fact, the coldest night-time temperature ever recorded at Lanzarote airport in June is 12.4°C. However, it's very unlikely you'll see overnight temperatures as cold as this!



Climatological information for Lanzarote airport during June
Highest recorded rainfall for June
(mm)
Average rainfall for June
(mm)
Temperature Total number of sunshine hours
Minimum
(°C)
Maximum
(°C)
1.2 (June 1995) 0.0 18.1 25.7 284

As soon as the sunrises, the temperatures quickly rises to about 8°C above the overnight temperature. Typically, the average daytime maximum temperature during June is 25.7°C. There will be some days when it will be cooler than the average and others warmer. The highest recorded temperature in June at Lanzarote airport is 35.4°C and this has only been recorded once. Most of the daytime temperatures that exceed 30°C occur in the latter half of June, but they only occur when the winds are blowing in from North Africa (i.e. directly from the east or south-east).


Risk of severe weather in Lanzarote during June
Risk
Dust storms
Windy afternoons
Flooding
Hailstorms
High temperatures
Rating
Low
Moderate but higher towards end of June
Low
Low
Low

There may be some morning cloud but this usually disappears by 10-11am. However, the northern parts of Lanzarote may remain cloudy for the whole day while the central and southern parts of Lanzarote are basking in sunshine.

The winds are generally moderate during the afternoons on most days (although the wind can get gusty especially near the end of June). If you're planning to travel here in June, the weather in Lanzarote at this time of year is still quite comfortable.

This is a great time to visit since the weather in Lanzarote is not too hot...well it may exceed 30°C for 2-3 days and you can be quite sure there'll be no rain. And talking about rain, the highest recorded rainfall at Lanzarote airport for June is 1.2 mm, so there's definitely no need to worry about whether it's going to rain or not.




Weather in Lanzarote in July

July is a little hotter than June, although if you happen to be located out in the wind then it won't feel too hot. But be warned, the weather in Lanzarote can get very hot in July if there's wind blowing in from North Africa. The highest temperature recorded in July at Lanzarote airport was 42.9°C (on the 25th July, 2004).

Normally though, if you're planning to visit in July you can expect a minimum overnight temperature of around 20°C before a maximum temperature of 28°C is reached in the midafternoon. At least 5-8 days will have temperatures in the low 30's°C. The temperatures at night should not drop below 16°C at any in July, so plan to bring summer clothing.


Climatological information for Lanzarote airport during July
Highest recorded rainfall for July
(mm)
Average rainfall for July
(mm)
Temperature Total number of sunshine hours
Minimum
(°C)
Maximum
(°C)
0.3 (July 1973) 0.0 19.9 27.8 290

There shouldn't be any rain in Lanzarote if you're staying here in July. Even though the mornings may start out cloudy, these clouds will disappear by 10am and so the rest of the day will have brilliant sunshine. In fact, July is the sunniest month of the year since it records about 9 hrs 21 mins on average of sunshine per day.


Risk of severe weather in Lanzarote during July
Risk
Dust storms
Windy afternoons
Flooding
Hailstorms
High temperatures
Rating
Low
High
Low
Low
Moderate

The end of July through to early August is also known as the windiest time of the year. Depending upon which way the wind is coming from, will determine whether you will feel comfortable or not. Be rest assured that since there is a cool ocean current flowing south passed Lanzarote on its eastern side, most winds will feel cool. The reason for this is that the dominant wind direction comes in from the same direction as the cool ocean current (i.e. from the north east), and thus this will help to lower the temperature over Lanzarote. The only time when you get really hot weather in Lanzarote is when the wind direction switches from a north-easterly to an easterly (i.e. coming directly from the desert regions of North Africa).


Weather in August

Lanzarote will look like a dry, brown, desolate landscape at this time of year since drought conditions prevail. For this reason, there should be little if any rain anywhere on Lanzarote in August. In fact, the highest recorded rainfall in August for the month is 7.3mm. What you do need to plan for is the occasional day of extremely hot weather.


Climatological information for Lanzarote airport during August
Highest recorded rainfall for August
(mm)
Average rainfall for August
(mm)
Temperature
Total number of sunshine hours
Minimum
(°C)
Maximum
(°C)
7.3 (August 1989)
0.0
20.7
28.8
289


August is the month with the hottest weather in Lanzarote. You can expect a warm overnight minimum temperature of around 20-21°C, and by day, a maximum temperature of 29-30°C. This is the time of the year when hot plumes of air move into the area from the Sahara desert. These hot, dry winds will make you feel quite uncomfortable since such days can be 10°C hotter than the average August daytime temperature.

Despite what many tourists websites say, the weather in Lanzarote is not always mild in August. The highest recorded maximum temperature at Lanzarote airport is 43.6°C, so you need to understand that it can get very hot. You will be hard pressed to find a cool spot anywhere on Lanzarote (besides being in the water) during such heat wave conditions, so you please make sure you obtain some accommodation that has some air conditioning.



Risk of severe weather in Lanzarote during August
Risk
Dust storms
Windy afternoons
Flooding
Hailstorms
High temperatures
Rating
Low
High
Low
Low
High

The weather in Lanzarote is normally hot when there's an easterly wind (i.e. wind coming directly from the east). The hot winds last up to 3-4 days and then switch direction to the north-easterly, thus allowing cooler air to push the hotter air away from Lanzarote. Normally, however, you can be sure that much cooler conditions will prevail for at least three out of four weeks in August.

If you're planning to travel to Lanzarote during August just be aware that it can be very windy in the afternoons up until the middle of the month on the exposed parts of the eastern side of Lanzarote. If you want to avoid the wind, plan to stay in accommodation located on the southern or the south-western side of Lanzarote if possible. But remember, the southern and south-western parts of Lanzarote also record the highest daytime maximum temperatures, so you'll have to factor this in when you're trying to work out where to stay.





What's the weather in Lanzarote like in Autumn?


Autumn is the transition season. You can expect the weather in Lanzarote will be very warm throughout September and gradually cooling off into October and November.

Lanzarote harbour

The mid-to-later half of autumn is an excellent time to visit Lanzarote. Nearly all of the days will be sunny with blue skies prevailing. There may be a short, sharp shower in the afternoon from late October into November but other than that you shouldn't experience any rain.




Weather in September

The first two weeks of September normally records very similar temperatures to the last week of August. You can expect the overnight temperatures to drop to about 21°C overnight before rising to a maximum daytime temperature of 29°C on the eastern coastline. However, the southern inland and western parts of Lanzarote will record temperatures that are at least 1-2°C lower at night and around 2-3°C higher during the day.

The highest daytime maximum temperature ever recorded in September at Lanzarote airport is 40.5°C. So whatever you do, please ensure that your accommodation has some air conditioning if you're planning to arrive in Lanzarote in early September.



Climatological information for Lanzarote airport during September
Highest recorded rainfall for September
(mm)
Average rainfall for September
(mm)
Temperature Total number of sunshine hours
Minimum
(°C)
Maximum
(°C)
14.9 (September 2008) 2.0 20.4 28.4 236

From mid-September to the end of the month, there may be up to 4-5 days when the maximum daytime temperature rises to about 33-34°C. However, for the rest of the time, the maximum temperature will be about 27-28°C over the eastern and northern parts of Lanzarote and about 28-29°C over southern and western regions.

At night-time, you should expect to see overnight temperatures drop to 18°C on at least one occasion by the end of September. Of course, slightly cooler conditions at night will be recorded over southern and western parts of Lanzarote.



Risk of severe weather in Lanzarote during September
Risk
Dust storms
Windy afternoons
Flooding
Hailstorms
High temperatures
Rating
Low
Moderate on some days
Low
Low
Moderate

You shouldn't see any rain until the later half of September, if you get any rain at all. In fact, September normally records only two millimetres (mm)of rain on average, but back in September, 2008, Lanzarote airport recorded its highest ever monthly rainfall total of 14.9mm.

As for the wind, September is not too bad. There certainly be a number of days when gusty trade winds winds will be a nuisance but it's not nearly as windy as July or August.



Weather in October

October is the beginning of the weaker dust storm season. These dust storms will only make the sky look hazy and won't in anyway impede your holiday activities. These dust storms move in from the Sahara desert and are sometimes followed by gentle shower activity in the afternoon.

You should definitely think of travelling to Lanzarote in October since your holiday won't be ruined by the weather. In fact, you may not actually experience any haze while you're there, as it does not occur every year in October.


Climatological information for Lanzarote airport during October
Highest recorded rainfall for October
(mm)
Average rainfall for October
(mm)
Temperature Total number of sunshine hours
Minimum
(°C)
Maximum
(°C)
68.3 (October 2003)
7.0
18.7
26.3
231

You can expect overnight temperatures to drop to around 19°C along the eastern and northern parts of Lanzarote and about 18°C elsewhere. If you arrive in Lanzarote in early October, then the overnight minimum temperatures will be at least 1°C warmer than the actual temperatures I have mentioned above, but if you arrive at the end of the month, expect night-time temperatures to be about 1°C cooler. The coldest ever recorded overnight temperature in October is 12°C, so for that reason, there will be the occasional night towards the end of October when the temperature does drop as low as 15°C.

During the day, the maximum temperature should rise to about 26°C along the eastern and northern coastline, and 27-28°C elsewhere. There will be some fluctuation in the daily maximum temperature throughout October, since the weather in Lanzarote at this time of year is controlled by the warm air masses that come in from North Africa. It was during one of these dust episodes that a maximum temperature of 36°C was recorded at Lanzarote airport back on the 22nd October 1989. This is officially the highest ever recorded temperature for October.


Risk of severe weather in Lanzarote during October
Risk
Dust storms
Windy afternoons
Flooding
Hailstorms
High temperatures
Rating
Moderate
Low
Low
Low
Low

There will be plenty of sunshine throughout October, which means you'll be able to get down to the beach and get a tan. If you're worried about the rain at this time of year,...don't be.... The highest ever recorded rainfall total for October is 68.3mm. Sometimes, October records no rain, but the average rainfall total for October is just 7mm.



Weather in November

The rain following the dust clouds may be a little heavier in November but it won't prevent from you pursuing any outdoor activities on the island. The temperature and humidity levels will be lower than it was in summer and for that reason you'll be able to safely perform some strenuous outdoor activities.


Climatological information for Lanzarote airport during November
Highest recorded rainfall for November
(mm)
Average rainfall for November
(mm)
Temperature Total number of sunshine hours
Minimum
(°C)
Maximum
(°C)
80.9 (November 1989)
12.0
16.8
23.9
213

However, if a weak dust storm dust does occur, you should be aware that there'll be a marked rise in temperature and a substantial reduction in humidity levels. The highest ever recorded temperature in November at Lanzarote airport on such an occasion is 34.2°C back in 1999. Considering that the average maximum daytime temperature at the airport is about 24°C, it just shows you that the temperature can fluctuate widely during November.

At night, the minimum temperatures normally hovers between 14-17°C depending upon your location. As you would expect, the night-time temperatures become lower towards the end of the month. The coldest minimum temperature ever recorded for November at the airport is 10.9°C, so this should help you decide what clothes to bring with you at night (just in case it gets that cold).


Risk of severe weather in Lanzarote during November
Risk
Dust storms
Windy afternoons
Flooding
Hailstorms
High temperatures
Rating
Moderate
Low
Low
Low
Low

You can expect that the weather in Lanzarote during November will be cloudy on some days and sunny on others. You will begin to notice that the rainfall is more frequent than what it was in October, but once again, you shouldn't worry too much about the rain. Normally, Lanzarote airport records about 12mm of rain during November, but if there's a thunderstorm moving over the region, you can guarantee rainfall values ranging from 10-40mm from a single thunderstorm.



Here's a tip: If you can see a thick dust cloud approaching in November, then you can be quite sure there's going to be heavy rain coming in behind it.



Some days, particularly near the end of November will remain cloudy throughout the whole day. The cloudy conditions will affect mainly the northern and eastern side of Lanzarote. So, if you visit Lanzarote during this time, then make sure you stay in the southern parts of Lanzarote.





What's the weather in Lanzarote like in Winter?

The weather in Lanzarote in the winter is not the same across the whole island and does vary from year to year. Grape vines growing in volcanic soilIn most years, you can expect that during the winter you'll likely experience some overcast conditions with periods of rain associated with the arrival of cooler air masses that have come in from the more northern latitudes. In between these cooler air masses, the days should remain fairly sunny on the southern coastal areas but you'll experience persistent cloud cover over the inland and hilly regions on Lanzarote.

Both December and January are the wettest months, but rainfall totals remain quite low even throughout this period, in comparison to the wetter western Canary Islands. The dust storm season can sometimes start in January, like it did in 1999, but normally you won't be troubled by the dust until mid-February.



Weather in December

December is officially the wettest month of the year. However, in this part of the world, there is large fluctuations in the rainfall totals from year-to-year. For example, Lanzarote airport's rainfall totals have varied from no rain in December to 118.5mm. So, it's wise not to scrutinise the climatological data too much as it should only be used as a guide.


Climatological information for Lanzarote airport during December
Highest recorded rainfall for December
(mm)
Average rainfall for December
(mm)
Temperature Total number of sunshine hours
Minimum
(°C)
Maximum
(°C)
118.5 (December 1991)
27.0
14.8
21.4
196

The only time you'll see rain in December is when a cold front brushes passed Lanzarote or if there's a deep Atlantic low pressure system near the island. If the later atmospheric disturbance if forecast in the area, then you can expect quite a few days of persistent rain. If your whole plan of visiting Lanzarote is to sunbathe then yes you should be able to do that as well since the cloud cover frequently breaks up in the afternoon on days without rain.


Risk of severe weather in Lanzarote during December
Risk
Dust storms
Windy afternoons
Flooding
Hailstorms
High temperatures
Rating
Low
Low
Moderate
Low
Low


As you can guess, it can get quite chilly at night during December. Normally, the eastern and northern coastlines record a minimum temperature of about 15°C, and elsewhere it will be about 2°C cooler. Of course, the temperature will fluctuate a little above and below these values throughout the course of December. The coldest overnight temperature at Lanzarote airport for December is 9.0°C.

In comparison, the daytime maximum temperature rises to about 21°C on the eastern and northern parts, and between 22-23°C elsewhere. Of course, there will be days when the temperature may only reach 18°C if it's raining all day. At other times the temperature may go as high as 26°C if the wind blows in from either the west, south or an easterly direction. The highest recorded temperature for December at the airport is 27.5°C.

Like I've mentioned earlier, you will see frequent cloud during December, especially if you spend your time on the northern side of Lanzarote. This does not mean that every day will be cloudy. The sunniest location on Lanzarote during December is definitely along the sheltered parts of the southern coastline. If you do want to enjoy the weather in Lanzarote in December, then plan to stay in accommodation on the southern side.



Weather in Lanzarote in January

The weather in Lanzarote in January is very similar to December, although it's about 1°C cooler. You should definitely pack some warmer clothing with you if you're planning to travel to Lanzarote in January. Overnight temperatures normally drop to about 14°C along the eastern and northern coastlines, but they can go as low as 9-10°C in the sheltered regions in the southern and western parts of Lanzarote.


Climatological information for Lanzarote airport during January
Highest recorded rainfall for January
(mm)
Average rainfall for January
(mm)
Temperature Total number of sunshine hours
Minimum
(°C)
Maximum
(°C)
112.7 (January 1996)
24.0
13.7
20.4
209

During the daytime, maximum temperatures normally reach 20°C on the eastern and northern coastlines and 21-22°C elsewhere. However, the maximum temperature may rise suddenly to 25°C if the wind switches direction to an south easterly, which means the wind is blowing across from the warm North African landmass. When this occurs, you know that there's rain on the way...And talking about rain...

You should expect at least 2-3 days when it will rain for most of the day in the early part of January. Although, this cannot be predicted accurately since the amount of rain that falls is determined by the cloud type. If there's thunderstorm activity in the area due to the passage of a cold front or an Atlantic low, you can be quite sure, there'll be very heavy rain. But once again, trying to predict the weather in Lanzarote, specifically the amount of rain that will fall in January is futile since the weather in Lanzarote varies considerably from year-to-year.


Risk of severe weather in Lanzarote during January
Risk
Dust storms
Windy afternoons
Flooding
Hailstorms
High temperatures
Rating
Moderate
Low
Moderate
Low
Low

What can be said is that normally there should be some rain about throughout the early to middle part of January but this will start to decrease by the end of January. There should be some sunny days, especially on the southern coastal areas of Lanzarote.



Weather in Lanzarote in February

The weather in Lanzarote during February is very difficult to predict since dust storms normally make their presence felt on a couple of days throughout this month. There are some years when you'll enjoy a dust storm free holiday like in February 2010 but in other years, you can expect dust clouds to periodically invade most of Lanzarote from mid-February onwards.


Climatological information for Lanzarote airport during February
Highest recorded rainfall for February
(mm)
Average rainfall for February
(mm)
Temperature Total number of sunshine hours
Minimum
(°C)
Maximum
(°C)
85.9 (February 1989)
14.0
13.9
21.2
203

February is the second coldest month of the year. You can expect a cool overnight temperature of about 14°C on the eastern and northern parts of Lanzarote and about 13°C in the southern and western regions. During the daytime, maximum temperature normally rises to a comfortable 21°C in the east and the north and about 22-23°C in the southern and western coastal areas.

There will be some shower activity due to the passage of a passing Atlantic low pressure system or a cold front but other than that there normally won't be much rain. Although...the weather in Lanzarote can turn nasty as it did back in February 1989. On the 15th February, reports of 55.1mm of rain fell at Lanzarote airport in a 24-hour period. There was widespread flooding across Lanzarote and many shocked locals began the long process of mopping up from the water damage.



Risk of severe weather in Lanzarote during February
Risk
Dust storms Windy afternoons Flooding Hailstorms High temperatures
Rating
High
Low
Moderate
Low
Low


This is the time of year when frequent incursions of much warmer, drier air masses find their way to the Canary Islands from North Africa. Maximum daytime temperatures as high as 29°C have been recorded before during one of these events in February, 1987. Usually these warmer days are accompanied by large amounts of dust (known locally as calima). The dust is eventually replaced again by cooler air masses from the North Atlantic ocean.

If you're planning to come to Lanzarote during February, then you'll definitely see plenty of sun and you're sure to get a suntan but just remember, February's weather is not always the same year after year. You may actually have very little rain, warm conditions and sunny skies but then again, it might be unusually wet for a number of days. No can accurately predict the weather in Lanzarote in February.





Weather in Lanzarote during Spring


The early part of spring (March) can be quite horrible at times during a dust storm. The quite township of HariaHowever, by April and May, the weather in Lanzarote is a little more predictable. From mid-to-late spring, the cloudy weather of winter is long gone in the coastal areas of Lanzarote. However, over the inland parts of Lanzarote, afternoon cloud forms in response to the warmer surface temperatures. You should expect nice warm days in April and May with very little rain to worry about. There should be some windy days (especially by mid-May) associated with the return of the afternoon sea breeze.



Weather in March

The temperatures overnight in March is still quite cool so you'll still need to rug up at night if you're planning to enjoy a night out. During the first two weeks of March, overnight temperatures may get down to 14°C but by the end of the month, the minimum temperatures will be about 15°C. Of course, there will be the occasional night when the temperature drops down to about the 11-12°C range, and on at least one or two nights, the overnight temperature might only drop to around 17°C.


Climatological information for Lanzarote airport during March
Highest recorded rainfall for March
(mm)
Average rainfall for March
(mm)
Temperature Total number of sunshine hours
Minimum
(°C)
Maximum
(°C)
46.1 (March 1995)
15.0
14.6
22.5
230

During the day, the early part of March will see maximum temperatures hovering about 22°C but by the end of the month, it will be reaching 23°C. The highest daytime temperature ever recorded at Lanzarote airport in March is 32.7°C, so just be aware, if there's a dust storm approaching, then expect some quite warm weather.


Risk of severe weather in Lanzarote during March
Risk
Dust storms
Windy afternoons
Flooding
Hailstorms
High temperatures
Rating
High
Low
Moderate
Low
Low


Please note: The temperatures listed above are taken from the meteorological station at Lanzarote airport, which is located on the south-eastern side of Lanzarote, just south of Arrecife. If you're staying in accommodation that's located further south near Playa Blanca or on the western side near La Santa, then expect the temperatures to be about a 1°C cooler at night and about 2°C warmer by day.

March normally receives about 15mm of rain on average for the month. Most of this rain occurs in conjunction with a dust storm. Back on the 14th March, 1995, Lanzarote airport reported 38.5mm of rain in 24-hours due to an intense thunderstorm.

If you plan to travel in March you are certainly at risk of experiencing some unpleasant dust storms. Sometimes they are weak, like what was experienced on the 12th March 2009, but they can be a darn nuisance if the visibility drops to around 200 metres.



Weather in Lanzarote in April

The dust storm weather in Lanzarote will have finished by April and with this you'll see the return of clear skies and warm temperatures throughout the day.


Climatological information for Lanzarote airport during April
Highest recorded rainfall for April
(mm)
Average rainfall for April
(mm)
Temperature Total number of sunshine hours
Minimum
(°C)
Maximum
(°C)
34.9 (April 1982)
6.0
15.0
23.0
254

Overnight temperatures will drop to about 14-16°C, however, it may drop lower than this once or twice during early April. It's not unreasonable for you to experience temperatures as low as 12°C in the southern parts of Lanzarote sheltered from the wind, so you'll need to pack some warm clothing (just in case).

It certainly can get quite cool in April, but it's unlikely to get as cold as the lowest ever recorded overnight temperature, which is 9.5°C.

You'll be happy to know that on most days in April, the maximum temperature will reach a comfortable 22-24°C. Although, April 2008 felt quite a deal warmer than the long term average, recording 26.9°C on most days. The highest daytime temperature ever recorded in April is 36.3°C. This was recorded on the 3rd April, 2006.


Risk of severe weather in Lanzarote during April
Risk
Dust storms Windy afternoons Flooding Hailstorms High temperatures
Rating
Low
Moderate (Can get quite windy along the northern coastline)
Low
Low
Low


Of course, you cannot presume that each successive year in April will become hotter and hotter, since the cool ocean current (Canary current) that passes by Lanzarote will prevent the temperature rising too high.

You should see very little rain throughout your stay in Lanzarote in April, so if you're worried about wet weather, ...then drop that thought. If it rains at all, it should fall in the first two weeks of April. But even then the rain won't be bothersome. For example, the heaviest 24-hour rainfall total was 17.1mm during a thunderstorm and for the whole month of April, 34.9mm was recorded. You can be quite sure that even this so-called 'deluge' wouldn't prevent your holiday in Lanzarote from being enjoyable.

The weather in Lanzarote in April is very comfortable and you should definitely think of travelling here if you don't mind the cool overnight temperatures. There will be some afternoon sea breezes which will drop the temperature a degree or two after about 2pm. The humidity will be quite low and so this should make your holiday very pleasant indeed.



Weather in May

The weather in Lanzarote in May is very similar to April, although the temperatures are a little warmer during both the day and night. Overnight temperatures are a comfortable 16°C along the coast and up to 2°C cooler over the sheltered southern and inland parts of Lanzarote. There might be a couple of nights in early May when the temperatures drops down to 13°C but by the end of May, overnight temperatures will be hovering around 17°C.


Climatological information for Lanzarote airport during May
Highest recorded rainfall for May
(mm)
Average rainfall for May
(mm)
Temperature Total number of sunshine hours
Minimum
(°C)
Maximum
(°C)
13.5 (May 1976)
2.0
16.3
24.2
289

You should see daytime maximum temperatures averaging 24°C in most northern coastal areas and 25-26°C over the western and southern parts of Lanzarote. Later in the month, you should get at least one day when the daytime temperatures will reach 32°C.

Many days on the coast will start out cloudy but these clouds will clear by about midday.


Risk of severe weather in Lanzarote during May
Risk
Dust storms
Windy afternoons
Flooding
Hailstorms
High temperatures
Rating
Low
Moderate (Can get quite windy at times)
Low
Low
Low


You'll see plenty of sun this month and so you'll be able to soak up the sun rays at the beach throughout most of May. It's very unlikely you'll get any rain, but if it occurs, the most likely location where it'll occur is over the northern inland parts of Lanzarote. The south-western and southern coastal areas of Lanzarote will miss out on the afternoon shower activity.






Lanzarote rarely gets thunderstorms

There are three reasons why Lanzarote rarely gets thunderstorms:

  1. Lanzarote is located in a region where there's frequent north-easterly trade winds and for that reason there's quite a strong trade wind temperature inversion present for most of the year. This temperature inversion is situated only about 900 metres above sea-level over Lanzarote and normally has a depth of about 500 metres, thus there's very little chance of any vertical cloud development since the air is simply too dry above the inversion layer.

    This trade wind temperature inversion separates well-mixed, moist near the surface from very dry air aloft.

    The trade wind inversion thickness (i.e. height difference between the base and top of the inversion) is least in winter. This corresponds with so-called 'rainy months' in Lanzarote.

    In summer, this inversion thickness is at a maximum and so there's minimal rain over the region, since there's an extended region of warm and very dry air throughout this trade wind inversion layer. The intensity of the trade wind inversion layer is governed by strength and location of the subtropical North Atlantic high pressure system.

    In comparison, over the far western Canary islands, the temperature inversion is thinner and situated at about 1500 metres, so there's a much higher chance of thunderstorm development. The higher the temperature inversion is above sea-level, the more likely there'll be precipitation at sea-level.

  2. There's a persistent cool ocean current known as the Canary Current that flows southward passed Lanzarote. This Canary Current contains cool-to-cold, upwelling water which consequently moves in the same direction as the north-easterly trade winds, and so this ocean current aids in intensifying the existing trade wind temperature inversion. This ocean current is also responsible for making the air over Lanzarote less humid than it otherwise would be given the Lanzarote's latitude.

  3. Lanzarote's lack of mountainous terrain is another good reason why there's very few thunderstorms. If Lanzarote's (670 metre) mountain was another 500-600 metres taller, then this would aid in triggering thunderstorm development by possibly breaking the trade wind inversion layer.

The only time Lanzarote will get thunderstorms is if there's some either low level instability that is strong enough to break the capping inversion, or, the wind direction has changed and consequently, the trade wind inversion is longer the dominate factor influencing the weather in Lanzarote. This sometimes occurs during the winter.



Dust storm weather in Lanzarote

It is important to know that both Lanzarote and Fuerteventura are frequently hit hard by dust storms during late winter/early spring (February and March) each year. Sometimes the dust is so thick that the sun is completely obscured and the visibility drops to less than 200 metres. Obviously during this time you won't enjoy being outside, so in order to make sure that your holiday isn't ruined by this dust event, then you should try to travel outside these two months.

The frequency of these dust storms is controlled in a large extent by the weather patterns over North Africa. If the Saharan desert misses out on its limited rainy season, then you can expect higher amounts of dust to influence the weather in Lanzarote. Conversely, you can be sure that if the Saharan desert receives abundant rainfall, then it's highly likely that less dust will be transported over to the Canary Islands.

If you are still considering travelling to Lanzarote during February and March, just be aware that there may be airport delays due to the length of time this dust stays suspended in the air. Normally there will be between 2 to 7 dust storms every year throughout these two months and each dust storm tends to last from 2 to 22 days.


Weaker dust storms affect Lanzarote from October to December each year. Thankfully these dust events don't last as long. You may get between 2 to 4 weaker dust storms during these months. They normally hang around for two or so days and for that reason, they won't ruin your holiday. However, please be aware that this dust can increase respiratory problems if you do have a pre-existing respiratory illness.

Parque nacional de Timanfaya

During summer (June, July and August), the dust blown in from the Saharan desert is transported above Lanzarote's highest mountains and never descends to sea-level. On such days, the sky will look hazy, almost white. The daytime temperatures on such days will be around 33-40°C. Although, temperatures above 38°C are quite rare in Lanzarote. Normally the daytime temperature only goes above 38°C once every five years or so.

It's a known scientific fact that the Canary Islands have one of the highest incidence of asthma out of any location in Spain. This is due to the high amount of dust present in the atmosphere combined with the elevated levels of ozone. Furthermore, house dust mites are commonly found in quite high numbers throughout the Canary Islands since the humid conditions provides a suitable environment for breeding. These microscopic creatures can play havoc with your health if they're inhaled. Of course, you may find that the warmer weather in Lanzarote reduces the severity of your asthma.





What months are likely to have some rainy weather in Lanzarote?

The only time you'll see any significant rain is during late autumn to early spring (November-March). This rain doesn't normally last long since the dust tends to catch the raindrops as they fall. Occasionally you'll get some rain without dust. This occurs more so when the cloud structure has come in from the south-west or west. You can also expect that the weather in Lanzarote will not be the same across the whole island. There's normally a little bit more rain on the northern side of Lanzorote since moisture bearing clouds are forced to rise the 670 metre mountain and this is enough to trigger precipitation over the barren northern coastline.

Although, this small mountain does very little to trap the clouds unlike the higher mountains found in other Canary Islands. As mentioned earlier, this is one of the reasons why Lanzarote receives much less rainfall than the mountainous islands of Gran Canaria, Tenerife, La Palma, La Gomera and El Hierro.



Useful Weather Fact

If you're planning to go island hopping, a number of meteorological studies have shown that if it's raining on both Lanzarote and Fuerteventura, then there's about a 80% chance that it's also raining on the other Canary Islands.

However, if it's raining on the western Canary Islands, there's only about a 30% chance that it's raining on both Lanzarote and Fuerteventura.




You're highly unlikely to get hurricanes in this part of the world since atmospheric conditions aren't suitable for their formation. Although a tropical storm hit the area back on the 29th November 2005 causing minor wind damage and flash flooding in Lanzarote.

In contrast to the more western Canary Islands, it will be very apparent to you by just a visual inspection of the surrounding countryside that the weather in Lanzarote is very dry. You can expect that there will be no more than 30 millimetres (mm) of rain in each month during November to March. Although, occasionally you may get a sudden deluge of heavy rain from a severe thunderstorm that produces in excess of 30mm. This normally occurs after a thick dust cloud has passed through Lanzarote.





Why does Lanzarote have limited vegetation?

Dry Lanzarote landscape

There's very little vegetation on Lanzarote due to the fact that the early settlers to Lanzarote cleared most of the native trees and shrubs so the land could be used for stock-breeding (goats and sheep) and other agricultural practices. Furthermore, about 90% of the rain that reaches the soil surface doesn't infiltrate the soil. That means only 10% of the rain is fed into the groundwater system.

Over the years, the increase tourism has placed a large demand on Lanzarote's groundwater supplies and this has caused this water supply to become depleted. As a consequence, much of the native vegetation couldn't tap into the water supply and so many of these plants withered due to the consistently dry weather in Lanzarote.





Lanzarote has no natural water supply, so where does it get its water from?

Puerto del Carmen

In 1964, the people of Lanzarote decided to improvise by setting up desalination plants so as to ease the water demands due to the sudden influx of tourists in the mid-1960s. Given that Lanzarote suffers from frequent droughts, it made sense to set up this method of obtaining clean water.

This desalination technology practically covers every aspect of fresh water use in Lanzarote today, which is why tourism development in Lanzarote has been so successful. Without such water technologies, Lanzarote wouldn't be the tourist attraction it is today.







What months have the sunniest weather in Lanarote?

Famara beach

You can almost guarantee that from April through to October, there'll be hardly a day without sun. Yes, there will be the odd cloud floating by but none of them will be capable of producing significant rain. This is because each cloud evaporates when it grows too tall since the warm, dry layer of air located at approximately 1.5 - 2 kilometres (km) above sea-level chops the top off the clouds.

Another reason is that there's a cold body of water (known as the Canaries Current) flowing passed Lanzarote which cools the air above it and thus hinders the formation of rain bearing clouds over this region.

It's quite common to have cloudy weather in Lanzarote during in the morning. You needn't worry since most of this cloud will disappear by 10am.




References

  1. Spanish State Meteorological Agency (AEMET)

  2. von Medeazza GM and Moreau V. Modelling of water-energy systems. The case of desalination. Energy. 2007;32(6):1024-1031.

  3. Illera JC, Diaz M and Nogales M. Ecological traits influence the current distribution and range of an island endemic bird. Journal of Biogeography. 2006;33(7):1192-1201.

  4. Herrera RGA, Puyol DG, Martin EH, Presa LG and Rodriguez PR. Influence of the North Atlantic Oscillation on the Canary Islands precipitation. Journal of Climate. 2001;14(19):3889-3903.

  5. Viana M, Querol X, Alastuey A, Cuevas E and Rodríguez S. Influence of African dust on the levels of atmospheric particulates in the Canary Islands air quality network. Atmospheric Environment. 2002:36(38):5861-5875





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