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Climate - La Gomera

Temperature, rainfall, prevailing weather conditions, when to go

United States version (°F - inches - feet). See also the metric version (°C - mm - meters)

Flag - Canary Islands

La Gomera, where it's located

In La Gomera, round shaped island belonging to the Canaries, the climate is subtropical oceanic on the coast, that is very mild and sunny for most of the year, with mild, spring-like winters, and warm and sunny summers, and also with little rainfall, concentrated in the period from October to March.
In the interior, the climate varies according to altitude and exposure: in fact the slopes exposed to the northeast trade winds receive a fair amount of rain and are green, while in the southern slopes rainfall is scarce, often below 15 inches per year, to the point that the island appears to be divided into two, the northern part being verdant and the southern one semi-arid.
The prevailing winds, the trade winds, make the northern slope more humid, while tempering the heat along the coasts during summer; the trade winds blow more intensely in the afternoon, being often moderate or even quite strong. The days of calima, characterized by abnormal heat and light wind, in which warm air masses from Africa prevail, are relatively rare, and are more frequent in spring and summer: in practice these are the only days when the temperature exceeds 85 °F, and when the heat is unpleasant. The calima is also felt on inland hills, and often even more than in the plains, because hot air is lighter and tends to rise, while the coast can be mitigated by the coolness coming from the sea.

Playa Santiago, La Gomera

Along the coasts, therefore also in the main city, San Sebastian de la Gomera, the daytime temperatures are very mild in winter, with highs around 69 °F in January and February, and warm in summer, with highs around 78/80 °F from July to September. Here are the average temperatures in San Sebastian.
San Sebastian average temperatures
San Sebastian J F M A M J J A S O N D
Min (°F) 60 60 60 61 63 67 69 71 70 68 65 62
Max (°F) 69 69 70 71 73 75 78 79 80 78 74 71

The rain pattern is Mediterranean, which means that the bulk of the rain falls between October and March, because it is the season when the Canary Islands can be reached by some Atlantic depressions; in summer, on the contrary, in practice it never rains.
Here is the average precipitation in San Sebastian.
Average precipitation San Sebastian
San Sebastian J F M A M J J A S O N D Year
Prec. (in) 2.4 2.0 1.5 1.0 0.3 0.2 0.0 0.1 0.4 1.5 2.6 2.8 14.8
Days 6 6 6 5 3 2 1 1 3 5 6 7 51

The interior of the island is entirely occupied by hills and mountains: here the weather gets cooler as you go up in altitude, and as mentioned the north side has a cool and humid microclimate, with rains of some importance in the cold half of the year, and also more frequent mists and clouds for much of the year, due to the trade winds, so that there are several towns that are situated in a green environment. At 2,000/2,300 feet, the daytime temperatures are about 61 °F in winter and 77 °F in summer.
The highest peak is Garajonay, 4,879 feet high. The area to the north of the mountain is very green, being covered by a thick forest of laurel trees, besides it's home to several endemic species, it is a national park (called Garajonay National Park), and also World Heritage Site by UNESCO since 1986.

View from the top of Garajonay, Teide in the background

The amount of sunshine on the coasts of La Gomera is good even in winter, and is excellent in summer, when clear skies are the norm. In inland areas instead, especially on the slopes facing north and east, mists and clouds may form quite frequently.

The sea in La Gomera is quite cold in winter, though not prohibitively, and becomes warm enough for swimming from August to October. The island is located at a low latitude, near the Tropic of Cancer, but in this part of the Atlantic a cold current flows. The sea temperature goes from 66 F in the period from January to April, to 73 °F in August, September and October.
Here are the average sea temperatures.
Sea temperature La Gomera
La Gomera J F M A M J J A S O N D
Sea (°F) 66 66 66 66 68 70 72 73 73 73 72 68

When to go

For the sun and the sea, the best time to visit La Gomera runs from May to mid-October. In the first period (May-June), the air temperature is a bit lower and the sea is a bit colder, but the days are slightly longer. In the Canaries in the summer the days are shorter than in Europe (while in winter they are longer), but due to the time zone adopted, the sun sets late enough anyway.
To visit cities and make excursions to the interior, you can choose April, May and the first half of October.
In winter you will appreciate the mild temperatures and you can often sunbathe, although we can not exclude some days of bad weather.

In suitcase - what to bring

In winter: light clothes for the day, sweater and jacket for the evening, possibly a raincoat or umbrella. To climb Garajonay, down jacket, hiking shoes.
In summer: summer clothes, but also a scarf for the wind, a light sweatshirt, light jacket for the evening and windy afternoons; comfortable shoes for hiking. To climb Garajonay, hiking shoes, sweathirt and light jacket.

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