Tenerife Weather Overview:
It’s difficult to give a single picture of the climate of Tenerife for, despite being a relatively small island, it has a range of climates depending on where you are on the island. The northwest is cooler and wetter leading to a greener landscape that’s more tropical than most European islands whilst the southeast is arid and significantly hotter with the rain bearing winds being held at bay by the mountainous interior. Known as a winter destination, choose your resort wisely or you’ll find you might as well have stayed at home.
All Time Highs and Lows:
Tenerife has a narrow range of temperatures and so doesn’t really do extremes. The highest temperature ever recorded was at Tenerife South airport in July 2003 when the thermometer registered 44.8C. Such highs are uncommon and it’ll be a hot summer if the temperature gets anywhere near 35C. Lows are another matter for Mt Teide regularly sees snow in winter and has a ski resort. There, the lowest temperature recorded was -14.4C.
Tenerife’s weather is affected by its proximity to West Africa and also the trade winds and ocean currents that sweep up from the Caribbean. The sea and the trade winds exert a cooling influence on the land whilst, when the winds are light, the heat from the Sahara sweeps across the gulf separating the islands from Africa. On the Koppen Climate Scale, the northwest is classified as having a Mediterranean climate whilst the southeast is said to have an arid climate.
Month by Month:
January: Despite its marketing as a winter sun destination, you could be in for a shock for the average daily highs are only 18C and that’s in the warm southeast. If you’re further north and west, your winter break could be spoiled by rain, fog and temperatures as low as 14C. Sunshine hours average eight a day but the sun is often watery and cool. Rainfall is one of the highest totals this month, only beaten by December and you can expect three inches over the course of the month, more to the northwest and less to the southeast.
February: Sunshine hours rise by an average of one per day in February and the rainfall is less, coming in at just over two inches for the month. The temperatures rise slightly and you can expect it to feel warmer as the sun strengthens. You are still going to find it difficult to lie out in the sun and stay warm at this time of year and the sea water is at its lowest temperature. It’s a good time to try skiing on the slopes of Mount Teide for the snow there is thick and soft.
March: March is a much drier month and whilst temperatures have only crept up a shade and sunshine hours are the same as February, you’ll find locals busy preparing for the summer season and a definite feel that warmer weather is on its way. At the warmest part of the day, sunbathing is a distinct possibility but the sea is still a little nippy. You can still ski on Mt Teide although the temperatures are warming up and the snow is starting to melt.
April: Rainfall is now half of what it was in January and the daily temperature should be comfortably in the seventies. Interestingly, the sunshine hours are the same now as in June and the tourist season is underway.
May: May is the perfect time to visit Tenerife for the worst of the spring rains is over and you’re unlucky to see more than a sprinkling during the month. Temperatures can hit 80f during May and the humidity combined with the temperatures isn’t unbearable yet. Sea temperatures are rising and many of Tenerife’s flowers are in full bloom. The north of the island is worth visiting now the worst of the damp conditions are over but you may still need a jumper and light coat there, especially at night.
June: June is one of the driest months and, whilst the temperatures haven’t hit their summer peaks yet, it’s still plenty warm enough for a day at the beach. The sea temperature is very pleasant now meaning that you can leave the hotel swimming pool alone and enjoy the Atlantic. You can expect six days of clouds and showers during the month but they’ll be short lived and light.
July: July is one of Tenerife’s main months for tourism along with August. Temperatures are still not at their peak but July is the driest month and has the most sunshine hours at 340 for the month. The beaches are quieter before the school holidays start or the Spaniards, taking their August holidays so it’s a good time to visit.
August: Expect wall to wall sunshine, high temperatures, often in the low thirties, humidity and probably packed beaches. It’s the time when everyone goes to Tenerife, Spaniards on their summer break and the British family now that school’s broken up. You won’t see Tenerife at its best but at least you’ll get a tan.
September: September’s climate mirrors that of August with temperatures and sunshine levels the same. The sea temperatures are higher than in August so a swim is still on the cards. The benefit now is that the families and kids have gone home for the start of school.
October: In October one out of every three days sees rain at some time. The amount of precipitation also increases to more than ten times that of August so expect some downpours. Thunderstorms are the most likely source of the rain at this time of year and can be quite spectacular when seen out at sea.
November: November is probably the last chance to get a bit of sun and already the temperatures have dipped to the low seventies. Rainfall is the second highest in terms of number of rainy days and amount of rain. Sunshine hours match those of January but at least the sea is still warm.
December: You may be thinking of a Christmas in the sun but even in the south of Tenerife, the temperature is just about bearable without a T-shirt on. With the second lowest average temperatures and the most rainfall, you may want to rethink your packing.
Best Time to Visit:
We think the best time to visit is in May or September. In both months it’s not too hot and the humidity is lower. You’ll avoid holidaying school children and in May, you’ll see many of the summer flowers at their freshest. September is better if you like a swim in the sea but in either month, the greener north of the island makes for a pleasant day trip.