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Effect of Thermal Inversion On The Flying Conditions In Tenerife

Geographical conditions play a vital role in performing paragliding flights. The unique location of the Canary Islands makes it a favorable destination to go for tandem paragliding. Tourists, as well as the paragliding pilots, enjoy flying from different sites on the island.
Several factors contribute to ease the flight on the Canaries and paragliding pilots need to understand them fully. Here we will highlight how thermal inversion becomes a deciding factor while paragliding in Tenerife.
Thermal Inversion and Its Role In Paragliding
The existence of this layer prevents the two different air currents from meeting: below the layer is the lower trade Wind, cool and humid which
Thermal Inversion and Its Role In Paragliding
Tenerife is a tropical island situated at a high altitude and the height factor produces favorable conditions for the occurrence of three different climatic layers. Those are the sea moisture blocked in the lower layer, a stable belt at medium height and the typical extreme and unstable mountain conditions at the top. These conditions combine together to generate thermal inversion on the island.

Thermal inversion occurs when the Azores anticyclone grows or approaches the islands. The phenomenon is observed when the air inside anticyclones descends or subsides, generating higher temperatures caused by increased pressure. These conditions lead to the formation of a stable layer where temperature increases with height instead of decreasing as normally it happens. The stable layer we are mentioning here lies between the range of 700m and 1400m altitude. The existence of this layer prevents the two different air currents from meeting: below the layer is the lower trade Wind, cool and humid which is controlled by the isobars and above it is the upper Trade Wind, warm and dry, which obeys the general West current.

Stable layer in El Teide National Park
The stable layer we are mentioning here lies between the range of 700m and 1400m altitude.

Such conditions exist 90% of the time and the inversion of about 3 to 4-degree celsius is commonly observed on the island. Due to thermal inversion, the connectivity between the lower and upper air masses gets blocked thus preventing the wind from ascending the summits of the island and falling again, forcing it to surround it like the profile of a wing.

If the inversion fades away, that means so does the anticyclone and indicates the onset of stormy weather. Due to this, cloudiness appears and showers of rain arrive at the island.
Flying above the inversion layer in Tenerife
Flying above the inversion layer in Tenerife
Morphology Is A Big Factor
Morphology Is A Big Factor
The air, when colliding with the mountains, is forced to rise and cools almost to the point of condensation causing the formation of clouds that, unable to develop in height, extend horizontally.
The peculiar shape of the island sets it in the opposite direction to the usual Northeast winds. Due to the arrow-like shape of the island, the approaching winds get veered towards the sides at lower layers, leading to the generation of suitable aerodynamic effects for free flight. Additionally, the triangular shape defines three far ends on the perimeter of the island that restricts the Coanda wind effect. Those ends prevent wind from turning when it reaches them, being thrown into the sea while generating calm areas.

Therefore, in almost any weather condition, we will always find a place protected to the lee of this imposing volcanic massif, a microclimate or «bubble» of good weather that is incredible for pilots who visit the island for the first time.

Paragliding In Tenerife
Our tandem flights take-off from the sites located in the two main areas or the slopes of the island, defined as North and Southwest. The conditions are favorable most of the time in a year, therefore, we take tourists on a tandem paragliding flight, around and above the splendid natural landscapes.

Book Your Paragliding Flight With Kangaroo Tandem
The advantage of a location experiencing the phenomenon of thermal inversion makes Tenerife the destination with most flyable days in a year around the globe. Our pilots are fully trained to make your tandem paragliding flight journey an unforgettable experience.
 

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