Well I like to call myself a sun worshipper but sometimes the heat here is overwhelming! Since Gran Canaria is situated off the north coast of Africa, we get a lot of their weather blowing over here and the location is also responsible for other strange weather conditions.
Calimas and Siroccos
A calima is an oppressively hot, dusty wind which comes across from the Sahara desert. It happens sometimes in winter but usually in the summer. It makes the sky look hazy but it is really a fine layer of dust. Some calimas last a few hours, others days!
A sirocco (no, not the Volkswagen model) is when you have hot, dry winds from Africa coming across. There isn’t any dust but the heat can hit 50ºC.
Take Care in the Sun
When this happens, there are a few things to bear in mind. Unless you’re used to the heat, you need to make sure you don’t burn and you don’t get dehydrated! Drink plenty of fluids (not sangria!) and stay in the shade between 10am and 2pm. If you are on the beach or by the pool, have frequent dips in the water to cool off. The sky might look overcast when there is a calima but this is just a layer of dust, or fine sand, so you still need to use sun cream with a high factor.
There are some stunning photos of sunny Gran Canaria on here: http://www.isle-of-gran-canaria.com/weblog/category/weather/page/4/
Hottest Temperature in Gran Canaria
The hottest I ever experienced here was in 2003 when it was 50ºC. It actually hit 60ºC for 10 minutes in Playa del Ingles. The swimming pool was hot, the water out the cold tap was hot and I remember sleeping under frozen towels (which thawed out within 10 minutes!)
Don’t let these weather conditions put you off though because they only happen a few times through the year and normally only last a day or two. If you are staying in a budget apartment without a fan or air conditioning, you can rent a fan for the week from various places in the shopping centres. Most places have a fan though and you’ll appreciate it!
Right now it is 30ºC in my apartment but it’s surprising how quickly I acclimatise. When it drops to 25ºC I might put my cardigan back on!