The Climate of La Palma
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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 the island , 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.

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Last modified: 13 December 2010