Cyclone Hermine breaks rainfall records in the Canary Islands

by Lorraine Williamson
record rainfall

LAS PALMAS DE GRAN CANARIA – In just a few days, the historical rainfall records for the entire month of September in terms of precipitation have been surpassed. Experts also warn that storms around the islands have increased since 2005. 

Cyclone Hermine has shattered several rainfall records in the Canary Islands in just three days. At almost all meteorological stations, the amount of rain these days was much greater than what has been historically recorded in any other month of September. In other words, much of the archipelago has seen more water fall than in a whole month. And in some places, even almost as much as in a whole year. 

Related post: Storm Hermine haunts the Canary Islands 

The cyclone, had already lost its tropical category on Monday and lost a lot of strength. However, it will still make numerous records once the official data is known. Above all, it will be noted the maximum rainfall on the Canary Islands as a whole. “September 2022 is likely to be the wettest since we have data,” said David Suárez, spokesman for Aemet in the archipelago. 


During the storm, and until 6.00 am Monday, a total of 95 litres per square meter was collected in Santa Cruz de Tenerife, “making this September 2022 the rainiest month in this capital since 1924”. At this station, September 1962 was the rainiest month so far with 62 litres per square metre. 

Gran Canaria 

But there are many more records: 118 litres per square metre were measured in Gran Canaria. Meanwhile the previous maximum for all of September was 85 litres. 

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La Palma, Fuerteventura and Lanzarote 

The same goes for La Palma, where the cyclone left 134 litres per square metre and the peak for all of September was 58. On Fuerteventura 60 litres per square metre, more than three times the previous record set in September, 18 litres. Also in Lanzarote: 48 litres per square metre, when the peak was 14. 

El Hierro 

According to data from the measuring station at El Hierro airport, this September is also the rainiest of the series, with 48 litres. 

According to Ruben del Campo, spokesperson for Aemet Spain, these are only the data caused by Hermine. While earlier in the month there was also another precipitation in parts of the Canary Islands. That makes the month his words “historic”. 

Cyclone frequency over the Canary Islands increased 

The question that arises is whether storms like these will become more frequent. Moreover, there are some signs that point to this. Since 2005, when Tropical Storm Delta struck, the frequency of cyclones over the Canary Islands has increased significantly. According to Suárez, who relies on data from a research group, Delta has seen several examples of cyclones to date that have surrounded the waters of the Canary Islands. 

Still, Hermine has been striking. Not only because of its intensity but also because of its origin and how the storm has moved north from its formation. The formation occurred close to the African coast and not in the waters of the Caribbean. That is unusual, according to the meteorologists. 


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