The Natural Park of Los Alcornocales

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The climate in Los Alcornocales differs from the Mediterranean pattern to which it would characteristically belong, due its location at the head of the Estrecho de Gibraltar and the north to south alignment of its mountain ranges and peaks. Winds predominantly cross the natural park from the east, and are known as Levante: they account for practically half of this natural phenomenon. A further thirty percent are attributed to Poniente winds, which come from the west. In Tarifa, famous for its windy conditions (making it one of the most popular worldwide destinations for wind and kitesurfing) While average wind speed is around 50 km/hour, extreme Levante gusts have been measured at 147 km/hour. The strength of these gusts is due to the Venturi effect, produced by the funneling of air in the Straits of Gibraltar between the Moroccan Rif and the Spanish Cordillera Bética.      

Rainfall in Los Alcornocales is high due to proximity to the Atlantic Ocean and to the specific orientation of the mountains. Annual totals vary between 700 and 1,800 mm per year, spread between September and April, and are closely related to altitude. The highly torrential nature of rainfall is also characteristic of Los Alcornocales, which in one single day can match up to 59 percent of the average rainfall between May and August.   Between May and July, moisture arises from the ground, maintaining a certain degree of humidity until mid-September or October, when general rainfall recommences its seasonal cycle.


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