You have probably heard of it and if you haven’t heard of it, you probably have seen it and wondered: what is 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 one, the visibility is very low.
Calima, also known as haze, is particularly prevalent in winter and usually last around 2-3 days. This doesn’t mean though that this doesn’t occur in other times of the year, or sticks around longer than a couple of 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 indoors and postpone your hiking plans! Apps you can use to monitor the quality of the air are BreezoMeter and AirVisual.
I was using IQAir to track calimas. They have apps for Android and iPhone and they have a website also.
Overall the air quality in Gran Canaria is pretty good and the government will issue warnings when there’s a bad haze coming.
The calima of February 2020
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 haze, so don’t worry too much about it. The pics are pretty awesome though, check them below!
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