The trade winds are the best allies of the Archipelago and the only effective remedy to clean the dust in suspension that remains in the atmosphere, after finishing the episode of more intense calima that the Islands have lived in the last decades. The territorial delegate in the Canary Islands of the Spanish Meteorological Agency (Aemet), Jesús Agüera, said that as of tomorrow the trade winds are expected to be present for several days, although in a moderate way. “They will push the dust to the south, they will renew the air mass and it will return to normal, but it will take a few days because it has been a very powerful episode of calima,” said Agüera.
Because it is a trade season, the presence of a storm with sufficient power to carry dust is not anticipated. Throughout the day today temperatures will still remain, in some points of the Archipelago, above 30 degrees and the minimum will not fall below 23. “The trend is to improve,” said Agüera, who argues that From tomorrow the heat will decrease and there will be some more cloudiness. Although, the humidity will be very low because the atmosphere is extremely dry and the trade will take a few days to “gain strength”.
Because an important atmospheric layer with suspended dust persists, several days will have to pass until the dust is deposited on the ground. The Aemet provided two clear entries of Calima, one on Saturday and another on Sunday. “Now the wind is more calm and there is no direct entry of dust from Africa, what remains is the remnant,” says the expert.
The day of Kings of 2002 became a reference for all the Canaries because the high concentration of land in the air stained the landscape red. Even so, Agüera acknowledges that this weekend the effects of the calima have been more serious since the decrease in visibility caused the closure of the airspace of the Islands. In addition, on that occasion the presence of the calima did not last more than 24 or 36 hours, while now they have exceeded three days.
When this atmospheric phenomenon is terminated, Aemet, Agüera said, will carry out an analysis of the presence of calima in the Archipelago in the last 30 or 40 years. For this, it will study parameters such as reduced visibility, temperature or wind gusts.
The visibility will improve in the Canary Islands as the dust is deposited. This weekend, minimum visibility levels were recorded at the airport of Gran Canaria, with 400 meters, and at the aerodromes of Tenerife North and Tenerife South, with 450 meters. Yesterday, air activity was resumed at all airports as visibility reached 3,500 meters.
Yesterday afternoon both the weather and wind warning were deactivated, although in the afternoon there were some isolated gusts of wind at the highest levels of the Archipelago, where 80 kilometers per hour were touched. Data that is very far from the 117 kilometers per hour that were recorded in the municipality of Valleseco throughout last Sunday.
Regarding the presence of dragonflies, Agüera said that “for years, due to global warming, there has been an increase in the presence of species native to the African continent dragged by strong winds,” such as algae or the aforementioned dragonflies.
The air of the Archipelago has been practically irrespirable during the weekend. The World Health Organization (WHO) advises against outdoor exposure if the concentration of dust particles is greater than 50 micrograms per cubic meter. As reported by the Izaña Observatory, under the State Meteorological Agency, 1,500 micrograms per cubic meter were recorded during the first wave of Calima. Although, the second intrusion, which arrived on Sunday, was more intense and reached 3,000 micrograms per cubic meter. This situation was completely exceptional, since the air of the Archipelago in normal conditions remains at healthy levels.