Gran Canaria Weather Overview:
A little like Tenerife, Gran Canaria has a range of micro climates dependent on where you go on the island. Again, like Tenerife, the north of the island is wetter and cooler giving it a more verdant appearance but meaning that in winter, it may not be your ideal destination. Overall though, the climate of Gran Canaria has a stable pattern of hot and humid summer days and mild or warm winters when the majority of rainfall is seen.
All Time Highs and Lows:
Exceptionally, the heatwave of 2003 brought temperatures of 46.4C although the average maximum for each summer rarely tops 35C. Temperatures don’t drop below 10C on the coast but in the mountainous areas, snow and frost is common in winter where the lowest temperature recorded was -9.3C
The Koppen Climate Classification for Gran Canaria is oceanic but the countering influence comes from the African land mass and the proximity of the Sahara Desert. The trade winds and the ocean currents that sweep up from the Caribbean have a cooling influence in summer and a warming one in winter. Weather systems from the west of Africa can sometimes spread out over the stretch of water that separates the Canaries from the mainland and bring hot temperatures to the islands by negating the effects of the westerly winds.
Month by Month:
January: Gran Canaria can be a better bet than Tenerife for winter sun for the temperatures in January are higher on average, there are more sunny days, particularly in the south and the rainfall is limited to less than an inch spread out over an average of three days of rain during the month. It’s best to stick to the resorts of the south east and east coasts, away from the prevailing winds but a tan is a real possibility.
February: February is little different in weather pattern that January although rain is heavier but with the same number of rainy days on average. Temperatures are barely any different from January and you’ll see around six to seven hours of sunshine on average each day. In the mountainous areas, snow falls and the temperatures are bracingly around the freezing point.
March: Winter rainfall is starting to tail off now and although you can still expect three rainy days during the month, the rain is likely to be showery and pass soon. Temperatures are a degree or two up on the winter average and, despite the lack of any real winter weather on the coast, spring is making an appearance, more obviously in the northwest after the heavier winter rains and colder temperatures there. It’s still best to stick to the south and east for now although you’ll see a good contrast hiring a car to visit the north.
April: Temperatures are now comfortably in the seventies with nearly eight hours a day of sunshine and rain now only an unexpected nuisance. Spring is definitely here in the north and the flowers of the south are coming into fool bloom including the elegant strelitzias which will flower all summer long.
May: All memories of winter have now passed and the closest you’ll get to rain is a partly cloudy day with a few threatening clouds. The temperature on the coast now nudges eighty and whilst the sea hasn’t completely warmed up, it’s not too nippy on the toes! Up in the mountains the air is cool and fresh with low sixties the high there.
June: Sunshine hours are approaching their peak now with nine hours a day on average. The temperature is regularly around the mid-eighties but the humidity of summer is starting to kick in. If it gets too much, the mountains are still refreshing or there’s always the pool or the sea.
July: July is the sunniest month with over ten hours a day on average. It’s also nearly the hottest month and so a good time to experience the Gran Canarian summer before schools break up. The sea is now a very pleasant 72f and you’ll be guaranteed a tan. Humidity can be a problem, particularly at night so make sure that the air conditioning is turned up high!
August: We’re now in Gran Canaria’s peak tourism month with temperatures to match. It’s not unusual for them to be around the ninety mark and there’ll be clear blue skies from dawn to dusk. Towards the end of the month a few fluffy clouds may appear each day but the rainy season is still some way off.
September: Sunshine hours are dropping back now as the clouds increase and you may be unlucky enough to encounter the month’s average of a single rainy day. Temperatures hold up during the month to the August levels and the sea temperature is now at its peak. With families and kids now back at school, the resorts are quieter with mainly couples forming the tourists you’ll see around.
October: This can be a good month to visit if you want to put off the start of winter where you live. Daily temperatures are still in the mid-eighties and the sea is holding its heat well. Sunshine hours have dropped a third from their summer peak and you may find an extra rainy day in the month.
November: This side of Christmas is always the best time to take a Canarian winter break for the heat of summer hasn’t yet dissipated. The sea is still warm and any rainy days will be confined to the thunderstorms that often strike late in the day or at night. Sunshine levels are not much down on October and temperatures will still nudge 80f during the day. Take a jumper or cardigan though for the evenings when the breeze gets cooler.
December: December may be the wettest month with the lowest number of sunshine hours but you need to put that in perspective. If you want to relax a little before Christmas, you’ll still find temperatures in the mid to upper seventies and rain likely only once a week. The sea is still warm enough for a swim and with fewer tourists around, your aim to chill out will definitely be possible.
Best Time to Visit:
We think the best time to visit Gran Canaria is in June when it’s heating up, but not too much. The resorts are still quiet and the flowers of spring are now fully out. Alternatively, September is a good month if you want the heat turned up full but prefer not to be surrounded by swarms of children.