The largest and most populated of the seven Canary Islands, Tenerife sees an estimated five million tourists a year. It is the site of one of the world’s largest carnivals and allows access to tourists via not one but two airports. Many of these visitors come to Tenerife to enjoy the stunning vistas of its UNESCO world heritage sites, such as the city of La Laguna, and the beautiful and vast Teide National Park, featuring the highest points of the island.
Many of Tenerife’s tourism is centered around its historical sites, as well as the many beach resort towns it has to offer. The stable and mild climate of this island has its geo-location to thank for, as it is nestled between the Atlantic ocean and its chilly trade winds, and the Sahara and its hot and arid breeze. This creates a balance in this region’s temperatures that cause the weather to change only minimally, even between the height of summer and the dead of winter.
The start of the year in Tenerife is surprisingly warm, considering it is the height of winter. January has an average temperature of around 19°C, with approximately 10 hours of sunlight per day to spend outdoors. However, these months also mark the most unpredictable in Tenerife’s weather, as January especially is said to bring much rainfall. On average, you can expect up to 160mm of rain, which can occur suddenly and without warning. During brighter days, the sea is still a joy to swim in, as its temperature usually stays around a lovely 20°C.
Should you choose to spend Valentine’s day in Tenerife, you will be pleased to know that the average temperature during February is around 20°C. This means that days and evenings spent by the beach are cozy and comfortable, although you may need a sweater at night as the temperature drops to 13°C. In February you can expect some 148mm of rainfall, as the weather is hard to predict, while the temperature of the sea lingers at a pleasant 19°C still.
Tenerife in March has an average temperature of around 21°C, as the summer months come closer. As it is still the end of winter, evening temperatures can always drop to a cool 13°C on average, so you should have some warmer clothes ready for nights spent dining outdoors. Quite a bit of rain can be expected in March, as the average precipitation is around 140mm on average. However, this month also marks the start of the days getting longer, as you can get up to 12 hours of sunlight per day, with the sun setting just after 7pm.
The climate in Tenerife in April can still include some rain, with scattered rain showers being the norm, as 159mm of rain is expected to fall on average. The days will feel long, with 12 hours of sunlight, and the average temperature slowly rises to around 22°C. Evenings can still cool off quite a bit, so it is smart to pack some clothes to cover up with when the temperature drops to 13°C. The temperature of the sea stays stable at a warm 20°C, much to the delight of watersports enthusiasts.
May is when the dry seasons begins on Tenerife, reducing the chances of rain and bringing in a more stable and predictable climate. The temperatures will start to soar, with an average of 23°C, while the evenings may still require some warmer clothing. Summer winds from the Sahara may blow over Tenerife more regularly, causing drastic changes to the temperature and humidity. In May, you can indeed start enjoying the coastal regions, as the temperature of the sea stays at around 20°C.
The weather in Tenerife in June will become noticeably warmer, as the temperatures begin to rise to around 25°C on average. Many tourists come during this time to visit the many beaches along the coast, as the temperature of the sea can rise to about 22°C. The evenings can still be cold, which will feel refreshing after a day in the heat, and is perfect for al fresco dining at 16°C. You will get an average of 14 hours a day of sunlight, as the sun sets around 9pm in the evenings.
As the months get hotter, the possibility of rain falls considerably, with July only having a chance of 90mm of rainfall in the month. Tenerife will have glorious weather at this time, and you can expect that the days will feel hot with an average of 27°C in temperatures. Those who want to spend the day dipping in and out of the sea will be pleased with its temperature at 22°C. UV levels will be at their highest around these months, so sun protection should not be neglected, especially as the days bring in more hours of sunlight.
The warm average temperatures in Tenerife will peak around August, as you can expect to spend much of your days basked in sunlight. You will have 14 hours of daylight to enjoy every day, with clear blue skies and temperatures of around 28°C. Even the evenings will be balmy so you can stash your sweaters to the far corner of your suitcase as al fresco dining will be at its most enjoyable. In August, the sea’s temperature will rise to 23°C, making it easy for you to spend most of your long days merely floating in the ocean. Sun protection should be a priority, as the UV rays are at their most potent at this time of the year.
In September you are likely to encounter the hottest day of the year, as the Sahara winds will cause some dry and arid air to be swept onto Tenerife, causing spikes in the temperature. On average, you can expect it to be hot, with 27°C as your daily average temperatures. The sea will be extra warm as the summer peaks, with temperatures measuring at 24°C, as the summer slowly comes to a close and the days begin to feel shorter again with 12 hours of sunlight daily. Rainfall is usually at a minimum in September still, although the incoming winter can cause some unexpected showers at times.
As the winter starts to roll in gradually, the average temperature in Tenerife drops down to 25°C in October. The evenings are still comfortable, although you may be better off with a sweater when dining outside. The temperature of the sea stays warm, however, almost matching the average air temperature with a whopping 24°C. Beach days are still possible, as the average rainfall remains low for the most part, with the occasional surprise shower.
Tenerife in November can bring occasional dust storms from Western Sahara, which can cause the weather to be erratic and unpredictable. More rainfall than usual can be expected, as your days of sunlight are cut down to 11 hours per day. This month’s temperature is usually measured at an average of 23°C, which is neither hot nor cold, and on sunny days can still serve as the perfect sunbathing temperature. The sea’s temperature slowly dips to around 22°C, as the nights are breezy and dominated by the cooling Atlantic trade winds.
Even though December marks the height of winter for the rest of Europe, in Tenerife you will still be able to enjoy days outdoors with plenty of sunshine. Days are shorter with an average of 10 hours of sunlight, while rainfall can increase as Mount Teide attracts it from the north. Swimming and watersports are still possible, as the water’s temperature rarely falls below 21°C. The average daily temperature is around 20°C, while the evenings will see a drop, cooling things off on Tenerife. The sun can be expected to set early, at about 6:15pm during the end of the year.
MORE ABOUT THE WEATHER IN TENERIFE
There can be slight changes not only in landscape but also in the weather between the north and south of Tenerife. The majority of travelers choose the south because of its mild and dry conditions, which is perfect for the types of visitors who prefer to spend their days lazing around and relaxing by the beach. Those who are looking for hotter temperatures and a drier climate will favor resort towns such as Costa Adeje, Los Cristianos, and Las Americas, for their bright blue and warm waters, and the little chance of rain.
The famous Teide National Park has the tendency to be much colder than the rest of the island, especially in the coastal areas, due to the height of its mountains, with its peak at around 3,718 meters above sea level. Other stops in the north such as Santa Cruz and Puerto de la Cruz will have milder temperatures compared to the south, with a higher chance of rainfall. Los Gigantes, which is situated on the west coast of Tenerife will usually have very similar temperatures as the south, with a slight chance of occasional showers from time to time.
Tenerife is profoundly affected by the trade winds coming from the Atlantic, keeping the higher temperatures and drier winds from Western Sahara at bay, for the most part. This is especially true in the north, as the south is slightly blocked off from these winds due to Teide National Park and its higher peaks. Frost usually is only observed on the highest peaks of the National Park, as Tenerife’s climate can be most accurately described as mostly tropical.