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Trade winds in the canary islands

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Numeracy@English
CLIL workshop
Teacher: Angeles Cabrera Hernandes
Valsequillo, Gran Canaria
November, 2017

Published in: Education
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Trade winds in the canary islands

  1. 1. TRADE WINDS IN THE CANARY ISLANDS The Canary Islands have a magnificent climate. This is general knowledge. However, one is surprised by their climatic conditions, attending their geographic location. This archipelago is placed on the Northern Hemisphere, between the temperate and the tropical zones. This fact has a direct influence over their climate. Nevertheless, it calls the attention that the Canary Islands, which geographically belong to Africa, have so nice weather. This is possible because of the influence of two meteorological phenomena: the trade winds and the Azores High. This map shows how, clearly, the Canary Islands are much closer to Africa than to Europe Because of this location, the weather in the Canary Islands is never cold. and the heat is never extreme. There are some countries, such as Morocco, Sahara, Tunisia, etc., which are on the same latitude than this archipelago, but their weather is much hotter. Why is this happening? One of the fundamental facts that improve the climatic conditions in the Canary Islands are the trade winds. The trade winds are generated in both Polar Regions. These draughts descend to the temperate regions. In the case of the Canary Islands, these draughts are collected by the Azores High (as known as North Atlantic High/Anticyclone), which is another main factor that provokes the fantastic climate we have in this archipelago. But, what is exactly an anticyclone? It is a mass of stable air, because of its high pressure. Its
  2. 2. presence hinders the draughts. But then, how do the trade winds make their effect? They do it by skirting this mass of stability. This map shows the Azores High’s zone of influence over the Atlantic Ocean The Azores High has an effect over another archipelago, called The Azores, also placed in the Atlantic Ocean. This anticyclone affects the climate of the Canary Islands in an indirect way, and it depends on where the high is located at every time of the year. During winter, the Azores High is placed very close to the Canary Islands. Because of that, the stability is bigger in this area, and, therefore, the influence of the trade winds is smaller. As a result, the cold air almost does not affect this archipelago. This is one of the fundamental facts that enables a nice weather during this season. In these two maps you can observe the movements of the Azores High between winter and summer
  3. 3. In summer, the anticyclone migrates and places over the Azores archipelago. At that time, it is far from the Canary Islands, and, because of that, the trade winds have a bigger influence. As a result, this cold air reduces the temperature during this season, and, as a result, the summer is not as hot as it might be expected for this latitude, and the climate is still nice. In short, the climate of the Canary Islands is great, both during summer and during winter. The two main factors that provoke this situation are the trade winds and the Azores High. The combination of both allows that the temperature stays relatively stable during the whole year: winter is not very cold, and summer is not very hot as well. Because of their geographic location and the climatic conditions, in the Canary Islands we have a fantastic weather every day! (Adapted from http://starexcursions.com/en/the-trade-winds/)
  4. 4. Questions: WHICH TWO METEOROLOGICAL PHENOMENA DO INFLUENCE THE CANARY ISLANDS? WHICH COUNTRIES ARE IN THE SAME LATITUDE AS THE CANARY ISLANDS? WHERE ARE TRADE WINDS GENERATED? WHAT IS AN ANTICYCLONE? HOW DOES THE AZORE HIGH AFFECT THE WEATHER IN THE CANARY ISLANDS IN WINTER? HOW IS THE WEATHER IN THE CANARY ISLANDS GENERALLY SPEAKING?
  5. 5. KEYS - Which two meteorological phenomena do influence the Canary Islands? The trade winds and the Azores High. - Which countries are in the same latitude as The Canary Islands? Morocco, Sahara and Tunisia. - Where are trade winds generated? In both Polar Regions. - What is an anticyclon? A mass of stable air because of its high pressure. - How does the Azore High affect The Canary Islands weather in winter? It is placed very closed to The Canary Islands and so, it makes the influence of the trade winds smaller, and so, less cold air. - How is the weather in The Canary Islands generally speaking? Winter is not very cold and summer is not very hot.

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