Batten down the hatches and switch on the aircon as the Canary Islands are in for a sweltering week-end with temperatures well into the 30s, according to the Met Office.

This morning at 11am the temperature at Reina Sofia Airport was reading 34° and the blanket of dusty air is gradually creeping towards Los Gigantes.

Yesterday saw the warmest day of the year so far in many parts as a mass of warm desert air (calima) hung over the Islands.

Forecasters predict more of the same until at least Sunday, particularly in southern areas.

Several islands have placed forest fire brigades on stand-by in case the dry air and high temperatures trigger blazes.

People with asthma and other respiratory ailments have been advised to stay out of the sun and keep windows closed to prevent dust from worsening their condition.