Tenerife has a subtropical climate and benefits from relatively consistent weather throughout the year. This makes the island a popular year-round destination and an attractive winter escape.
Tenerife experiences mild temperatures, with average highs ranging from around 20 to 30 degrees Celsius (68 to 86 degrees Fahrenheit) throughout the year. Winters are generally mild, and summers are warm but not excessively hot.
Tenerife is known for its arid and semi-arid regions, especially in the southern parts of the island. The amount of rainfall is relatively low, particularly in the summer months. The northern parts may receive more precipitation, and higher elevations can have more lush vegetation.
Tenerife is characterised by diverse microclimates due to its varied landscapes and topography. The northern parts of the island and higher altitudes, may experience slightly cooler temperatures and more rainfall compared to the southern and coastal areas. Please see below for more information.
The northeast trade winds play a crucial role in shaping Tenerife’s climate. These winds, known as the “Alisios,” bring cool and moist air from the Atlantic Ocean. The trade winds moderate temperatures, contributing to the island’s overall pleasant climate.
Tenerife’s location in the Atlantic exposes it to the maritime influence of the ocean. This influence helps regulate temperatures, preventing extreme heat in the summer and providing warmth in the winter.
The Canary Current, a cool ocean current that flows southward along the northwest coast of Africa, influences the sea as well as the air temperatures around Tenerife. The cooler waters of the Canary Current contribute to the mild temperatures along the coast.
Occasionally, weather patterns from the Sahara Desert, such as the Calima wind, can bring warmer temperatures and dust particles to Tenerife, especially in the summer.
The position of the Azores High and Icelandic Low pressure systems can impact Tenerife’s weather. The Azores High often results in stable and dry conditions, while the Icelandic Low can bring periods of unsettled weather.
Tenerife’s varied landscapes result in microclimates. The northern parts of the island are generally greener and more lush, while the southern regions are drier and sunnier. The diverse climate across Tenerife can be attributed to several factors:
As noted above, the prevailing northeast trade winds play a significant role in Tenerife’s climate. These winds are influenced by the subtropical high-pressure system and bring moist air from the Atlantic Ocean. The trade winds can be more pronounced in the northeastern parts of the island, leading to higher humidity and more frequent rainfall in this region.
In addition to its coastal areas, Tenerife has mountainous terrain, with the central mountain range, including Mount Teide, running along the spine of the island.
The trade winds, which generally blow from the northeast, are forced to ascend the mountain slopes. As the air rises, it cools, and moisture condenses, leading to increased rainfall on the windward (northeastern) side of the island. This creates a wetter and more lush environment.
On the leeward (southwestern) side of the mountains, the air descends, warms, and dries out. This creates a rain shadow effect, resulting in drier and sunnier conditions on the southwestern side of Tenerife. Therefore, areas such as Costa Adeje and Los Cristianos, located on the leeward side, tend to have a more arid climate.
Tenerife’s varying altitudes also contribute to climate differences. The coastal areas generally experience milder temperatures, while higher elevations, such as those around Mount Teide, can be cooler, especially in winter.
For more detailed information on the weather conditions you can expect in Tenerife at specific times of the year, take a look at the following pages.