What is the calima?

You have probably heard of it and if you haven’t heard of it, you probably have seen it and wondered what it was: the calima. The Canary Islands are located next to the Saharan desert and when there’s a storm or change in weather in the Sahara, this can affect the Canary Islands. The calima is basically a dustcloud coming from the Sahara. The dust is so fine it can creep through your doors and windows and when it’s a really bad calima visibility is very very low. Calima is particularly prevalent in winter and usually last around 2-3 days.

A lot of times you will notice the sky is just not very clear, but it won’t bother you. If you are sensitive to polution though, it’s probably better to stay inside when the concentration of dust is increasing. Apps you can use to monitor the quality of the air are BreezoMeter and AirVisual.

Overall the air quality in Gran Canaria is pretty good and the government will issue warnings when there’s a bad calima coming.

In February 2020 we’ve had the worst calima in over 40 years. Airports were closed, parts of carnaval were cancelled and it was recommended to stay indoors. This does NOT represent an average calima, so don’t worry too much about it. The pics are pretty awesome though, check them below!

February2020 – The worst calima in 40 years, as seen from space
February 2020 – Las Palmas with and without calima

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