Climate

Lanzarote’s climate can be classified as desert-like according to Lang’s rain factor, hyper-arid according to Martonne’s aridity index, and subtropical semi-arid Mediterranean according to the Papadakis classification.

The average temperature of the area is 20°C, with thermal variations between the coldest and warmest months, with an average temperature difference between January and August of around 7°C.

The temperature contrast between day and night on this island can be up to 17°C in the same day. These variations are common to desert climates.

Average annual precipitation is below 150 mm. With regard to seasonal variation, it should be noted that the rainiest month is December, with the majority of annual precipitation occurring between the months of November and March, and practically zero rainfall between the months of June and August.

 

Due to the lack of geographical barriers and the influence both of trade winds and sea breezes, the wind is a characteristic factor in Lanzarote in particular. The wind is also almost always blowing throughout the entire year, giving rise to the agricultural practices characteristic of the island.

The predominant wind direction is N-NE and it is most concentrated and fastest during the summer months when the trade winds are at their most intense, with the average annual wind speed varying between 5 and 7 m/s.

Relative humidity as a climatic variable may be considered relatively high, with average annual relative humidity recorded at 69% and significant seasonal variation: highs of 72% in the months with the highest averages (December and January) and lows of 66% in months with the lowest averages (April and May).

Daily variations are also significant, with highs above 80% at the beginning of the morning and lows below 40% at midday, coinciding with the hours with the most sunshine.

The general lack of clouds throughout the year leads to the high number of hours of direct sunlight, with an average of 7.8 hours/day, although it is true that there are variations with regard to the number of hours of direct sunlight between the different seasons. The highest number occur in summer (9.5 hours/day), with intermediate values in spring and fall (8 hours/day and 7 hours/day, respectively), and minimum values in winter (6 hours/day) (AEMET, 2010).

The high temperatures, the influence of winds, and a great deal of direct sunlight lead to an average annual rate of evaporation in a vaporimetric tank of around 1,800 mm, and close to 960 mm using the Thornthwaite method, with these variations between day and night being typical of the desert regions.

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