December was a month with good weather but for those unlucky souls who came in the two weeks before Christmas to top up their tans will remember it as as showery and wet!
The month started with crisp mornings, heavy dew, no wind, blue skies, sunshine and afternoon temperatures reaching 25 degrees. The weather broke on Saturday 12th with a spectacular lightening show and heavy downpour of rain with strong wind but sunshine in between, daytime temperatures up to 22 but as low as 12 overnight. Aemet issued a yellow alert warning of rain falling at the rate of 20mm per hour, I couldn’t help thinking of Cycling Team Columbia-HTC who were visiting Lanzarote for a week’s pre season team training.
The weather caused some problems with flights, whilst the UK and Spain were dealing with snow at the airport we had strong blustery winds, low visibility and a wet runway – a few flights were diverted to Fuerteventura until later when it was deemed safe to land.
It was Monday 21st that took us by surprise though, there was no alert in place for Lanzarote but it rained heavy in the evening for 30-40 minutes and caused serious flooding in Haría as the barrancos became rivers of mud cascading down from the mountains into the village centre, the Ayuntamiento buildings were flooded along with a number of houses and businesses. The weather was starting to effect the programme of events, the Christmas Market due to be held in Costa Teguise was postponed from the 21-23 to 28-30th December.
We learned new weather phrases such as riesgo de lluvias (risk of rain) and my favourite, chubascos (showers). Looking at the average annual weather for Lanzarote, December is the month with the highest rainfall, showing an average of 35mm and we had been lucky with a lovely autumn / winter so far. We looked at the forecast for Christmas Day, in the week leading up to Christmas Eve it was showing a mixed report (Forecast for Christmas Arrivals) and the 25th dawned dry, quite windy and cloudy with some blue patches, good enough to be outside and enjoying a Christmas day swim.
The week following Christmas was just lovely, from Boxing Day onwards its been warm, up to 26 degrees, sunny and perfect for chilling out on the beach for some winter sunshine. With those few days of rain, the effect has been incredible, the island is already turning green with grass and seedlings sprouting everywhere.