Local tips & secrets

Gran Canaria, Weather

Curious phenomenon: The donkey grey sky

The northern part of the island has an interesting climatic phenomenon called a Donkey’s belly (Panza de burro, esp).

So there are no sun? If you plan your trip during the months of june – july be aware that in the north of the island you won´t enjoy a lot of sun, but the temperature is perfect to do a sightseeing – to see the city of Las Palmas de Gran Canaria, visit the Cathedral, museums, do the shopping in Triana (the main shopping street in Las Palmas).

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Why is it cloudy? The phenomenon is a result of the high pressure area, which is the main cause of the trade winds blowing from the north to push the clouds against the mountain slopes, producing a cloud build-up on the northern slopes of the islands until an altitude of approximately 1,500 meters.

When does the Donkey’s belly come to Gran Canaria? The phenomenon mainly occurs during the months from april to august when the north of the island is considered to have more cloudy than sunny days.

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Can I get tanned through the Donkey´s belly? Absolutely! Due to the strength of UV rays during the summer season, in any case you should always be aware that clouds don’t protect your skin and you can even get a sunburn! So be careful while travelling in the island and make sure you have a sun protection.

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Why is it called the Donkey’s belly? The Donkey’s Belly name comes from farmers, who used to take a nap (siesta, esp.) at the hottest hours of the day while working at the fields. To get some shade, they’d take the nap underneath their donkey. So, when it was cloudy in summer in canarias, they didn’t need their donkey because of the big grey ¨belly¨ shade from the layer of clouds.

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