Lanzarote Weather Overview:
Lanzarote is the closest of the Canary Islands to Africa and is the most heavily influenced by its proximity. Only 70 miles off the coast, weather systems over the Sahara can easily extend over the island bringing hot dry weather at any time of year, most often in the summer months. Lanzarote is a very windy island; great for windsurfing but not so good for sunbathing if sand is whipping up around you or the breeze is chilly as it can be in winter. In summer, it’s gloriously hot but the breezes off the sea do take the temperature down a notch or two from that you can expect on Gran Canaria or Tenerife.
All Time Highs and Lows:
The hottest temperature ever recorded on Lanzarote was 44.7C in August 2003 during the big European heatwave. The lowest temperature recorded was 5.7C in the volcanic central area.
Lanzarote has an oceanic climate according to the Koppen Classification. It has the major heating effect of the Sahara desert only a hundred miles to the east and this is negated somewhat by the north east trade winds that blow in from the north, cooling the temperatures. The Canary current also has an effect flowing south west from Europe and meeting warmer waters only after it passes the islands. These forces keep the temperature of Lanzarote consistent within a range of eight degrees all year round.
Month by Month:
January: January can be cold and wet yet the average sunshine levels for the month top out at seven per day. The average high temperature is only 17C and it’s usually only a couple of degrees above this at best. Combined with the chilly winds that blow from the colder north, January can be a bad time to choose a beach holiday. If you’re content to wander around in jeans and possibly a sweatshirt, the island has many things of note to see but don’t expect much sunbathing.
February: February improves and with the temperatures a degree or two higher you may reach for your shorts. Rainfall is half the January average and you can expect two fewer days of rain. It’s still not beach weather though – choose Gran Canaria as an alternative.
March: March is an improvement – only just- on February with the temperature now nudging seventy on sunny days. Interestingly, the rainfall average is higher than February although it’s likely to be less heavy but spread over more days. Sunshine hours are increasing too and you may find you can manage an hour or two in just shorts or a bikini on the beaches as long as you can find some shelter from the breeze.
April: Whilst some consider the Canaries to be in a perpetual state of spring, Lanzarote’s cool winter period, giving way to the warmer temperatures of April, really do give it a spring. The island’s vines are now coming into leaf, and with temperatures regularly in the mid-seventies, it’s a pleasant time of year before it gets too hot.
May: May is when summer begins to show its colours with daily temperatures now in the upper seventies, rain a rare occurrence and an average of nine hours of sun each day. The island is now a riot of colour with the spring flowers well and truly blooming. The cool winds of winter now simply become refreshing as the temperature climbs and the beaches fill with early season tourists.
June: Summer really begins to kick in at the start of June with rain no longer a threat and eleven hours of sun each day. Temperatures now can be expected around the 80f mark and it’s definitely beach weather. The tourist season has gained momentum and you can expect all the sights, restaurants and entertainments to be open and eager for your custom.
July: You won’t encounter rain in July but the machinations of the trade winds and the currents around Lanzarote contribute to some cloudy days. This affects the overall sunshine levels which are down an average of an hour on June. It’s still very pleasant and temperatures are almost invariably in the low eighties.
August: The hottest and busiest month for Lanzarote. It’s not that hot though and with the breeze which bizarrely blows strongest in August, cooling the island, you’ll find it rarely gets above 85f. The beaches and hotels are packed with families and children on their school holidays so it’s not that restful a period to visit.
September: September is often a better month to visit Lanzarote than July. The average temperature is higher and whilst the number of sunshine hours drops with the shortening days, you’ll still see wall to wall sunshine. There may be the occasional cloudy day which threatens with a few spots of rain but it’ll certainly not ruin your holiday. The sea, which has been cool for most of the year so far, has heated up with the warmth of summer making it pleasant for a swim.
October: October’s temperatures rate favourably with June’s and although ever shortening days mean less sun overall than June, it’s still a lovely time of the year to visit. You may see an occasional thunderstorm in the evening or overnight but most days dawn fresh and clear. The sea is beautiful to swim in and apart from the October half term period, you’ll find the island much quieter and great for a relaxing break.
November: Temperatures are still good in November with daytime highs around the mid-seventies. The days are shorter now and you’ll find the air cooling off after 3pm most days. The breeze, whilst lighter, now has a chillier edge to it and you’ll definitely need a warm top and long trousers for the evenings.
December: December can be quite miserable and rainy although the rain tends to be drizzly and last for hours. The northerly wind doesn’t help matters and it can feel quite chilly. That said, you can expect the odd nice day when temperatures may climb into the seventies and the wind drops. The average sunshine hours each day come in at seven hours so you will definitely see the sun during your stay.
Best Time to Visit:
We recommend visiting Lanzarote in September when the temperatures are still warm and the sun shines all day long. The island has breathed a sigh of relief now the busy part of the season is over and the locals have more time for the tourists who want to immerse themselves in the island’s culture. It’s not really a winter sun destination as temperatures plunge between November and March and consistent sunshine is unusual.