The Climate of La Palma
La Palma lies in both the cool north-easterly Canary current and the north-easterly
trade winds, giving it a sunny climate with year-round moderate temperatures,
rather cooler than would be expected given the latitude of the island.
Rainfall levels vary substantially across the island.
The prevailing north-easterly trade winds bring moisture down to the
Canaries, and the high altitude of the island means that most of this is
deposited to the north-east. The southern part of the island is relatively
dry and sunny
. This gives rise to dramatic differences in vegetation,
from the lush forests at Los Tilos and Marcos y Corderos in the north of
, to the vine-clad slopes of Fuencaliente in the South
There is a substantial seasonal variation in rainfall, with almost no rain from June
to August, and a peak in November (140 mm in Santa Cruz). Average
sea-level temperatures vary from 22 C in August to 15 C in January
. Temperatures drop substantially with altitude; average temperatures at El Roque
de los Muchachos vary from 18 C in summer to 3 C in winter, with a typical daily
range of 7 C.
La Palma is occassionally affected by winds from the Sahara desert, bringing
very fine clouds of dust in suspension ('calima'). The months most affected are
July and August.