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cal

The Directorate-General for Security in the Canary Islands  declared last week a pre-alert for a calima. A calima occurs when an easterly or south easterly airflow blows sand from the Sahara desert over to the Canary Islands. The result is higher temperatures with a lot of very fine sand in the air, and poor visibility

 

 

 

Those with chronic breathing difficulties such as asthma, are particularly affected. You are advised to keep windows and doors closed, don't forget to use your medication, drink plenty of fluids and do not over exert yourself 

All The Canary Islands occasionally suffer from Calimas, most often in the winter months. The calima is a hot and oppresive wind and occurs when there is high pressure over The Sahara,  
During a calima the air turns a red / brown colour and you can literally smell the sand in the air from The Sahara Desert.  Often strange insects accompany the winds - in recent years we have had locusts, ladybirds and dragonflies. The calima can last from half a day up to three days, and the aftermath is that everything on the island is covered in a film of sand. One can always witness the big clean up afterwards when everyone tries to remove the sand from their patios, swimming pools and cars. 
The temperature will often rise to unbearable levels during a calima, and people tend to stay inside and avoid any excercise. 
The phenomenon can be seen on satellite photographs, appearing as a cloud like swirl across the islands. 
Calimas are often preceded by clear, still weather, and followed by heavy rain. 

 

 

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