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Temperature and precipitation changes at La Palma, Canary Islands (1971-2000)
La Palma is the western-most of the Canary Islands located at a latitude of 26.8N and 17.9W, about 400km off the Moroccan coast of north-west Africa. Its oceanic location ensures that it has a mild and equitable climate throughout the year, with little extremes of temperature between summer and winter. The proximity of the semi-permanent Azores high pressure system means that the usual weather conditions are typically stable and dry, due to a prevalent subsidence inversion layer frequently found at an altitude of around 600-1500 metres (La Palma itself reaches up to 2,400 metres in altitude, well above the inversion). However, rainy conditions can develop when a break in the inversion layer occurs or the synoptic meteorological conditions weaken the Azores high. The island`s steep orography also causes considerable local variation in precipitation.