Climate of Malta


Climate of Malta
Malta
Climate chart (explanation)
J F M A M J J A S O N D
 
 
89
 
15
9
 
 
61
 
16
9
 
 
41
 
17
10
 
 
23
 
19
12
 
 
6.6
 
23
15
 
 
3.2
 
28
18
 
 
0.4
 
31
21
 
 
7
 
31
22
 
 
40
 
28
20
 
 
90
 
24
17
 
 
80
 
20
14
 
 
112
 
17
11
Average max. and min. temperatures in °C
Precipitation totals in mm
Source: World Meteorological Organization (UN)[1]

Malta has a Subtropical-Mediterranean climate (Köppen climate classification Csa)[2][3], with mild winters and warm to hot summers. Rain occurs mainly in winter, with summer being generally dry. There is no real thermal dormant season for plants, although plant growth can be checked briefly by abnormal cold in winter (patches of ground frost may occur in inland locales), and summer heat and aridity may cause vegetation to wilt. Effectively there are only two seasons, which makes the islands attractive for tourists, especially during the drier months. However, strong winds can make Malta feel cold during the springtime. Large fluctuations in temperature are rare.

Contents

Temperature

The average annual temperature is 18–19 °C (64–66 °F) (one of the highest results in Europe): around 22 °C (72 °F) during the day and 15 °C (59 °F) at night. In the coldest month – January – the temperature ranges from 12 to 20 °C (54 to 68 °F) during the day and 7 to 15 °C (45 to 59 °F) at night. In the warmest month – August – the temperature ranges from 28 to 34 °C (82 to 93 °F) during the day and 19 to 24 °C (66 to 75 °F) at night. Large fluctuations in temperature are rare. Average number of days above 32 °C (89.6 °F) is to 15, several days in July and several days in August. Annual average relative humidity is 73%, ranging from 65% in July (morning: 78% evening: 53%) to 78% in December (morning: 83% evening: 73%).[4]

One of the winter days in Malta, mild temperature, sometimes cloudy or rain, green of flora.

Generally – summer's/holiday season lasts to 8 months, beginning around mid-April with temperatures 19–23 °C (66–73 °F) during the day and 13–14 °C (55–57 °F) at night, ending in November with temperatures 17–25 °C (63–77 °F) during the day and 11–17 °C (52–63 °F) at night, although also in remaining 4 months temperatures sometimes reach 20 °C (68 °F) during the day. Among all capitals in Europe continent, Valletta - capital of Malta has the warmest winters with average temperature of 15–16 °C (59–61 °F) during the day and 9–10 °C (48–50 °F) at night in the period January–February. In spring - March and autumn - December, average temperatures is around 17 °C (63 °F) during the day and 11 °C (52 °F) at night. Also, Malta is one of the few places in Europe which are "green" all year round.[5]

The lowest temperature ever recorded at Valletta was on 19 February 1895, with 1.2 °C (34.2 °F), and the highest temperature was 43.8 °C (110.8 °F) recorded in August 1999 at Luqa International Airport. An unofficial lowest temperature of −1.7 °C (28.9 °F) was recorded on 1 February 1962 in the Ta' Qali airfield with snow on the ground.[citation needed]

Sunshine

Malta enjoys around 3,000 hours of sunshine per year (one of the highest results in Europe), from average 5 hours of sunshine per day in December to average 12 hours of sunshine per day in July.[6] This is about twice the hours of sunshine as cities in the northern half of Europe enjoy, for comparison: London 1,461 per year,[7] however in winter up to some times more sunshine, for comparison: London has 37 hours[7] while Malta has 155 or 164 (depending on the sources) hours of sunshine in December.

Sea Temperature

Average annual temperature of sea is 20 °C (68 °F) (the highest result in continent of Europe), from 16 °C (61 °F) in January to 26 °C (79 °F) in August. In total 6 months - from June to November - the average sea temperature exceeds 21 °C (70 °F), while in May and December - 18 °C (64 °F). In the remaining 4 months - from January to April - the average sea temperature is about 16 °C (61 °F).

In the second half of April - beginning of the summer/holiday season the average sea temperature is 17 °C (63 °F). The highest temperature is 27 °C (81 °F) in the second half of August, in late August and early September drops to 26 °C (79 °F) in the second half of September drops to 25 °C (77 °F). Around mid-October drops to 24 °C (75 °F), about the last week of October drops to 23 °C (73 °F) and in early November drops to 22 °C (72 °F) (data of 2010).[5][6]

Average sea temperature[8]
Jan Feb Mar Apr May Jun Jul Aug Sep Oct Nov Dec
Malta 16 16 16 16 18 21 24 26 25 23 21 18

Precipitation

Water supply poses a problem on Malta, as the summer is both rainless and the time of greatest water use, and the winter rainfall often falls as heavy showers running off to the sea rather than soaking into the ground. Malta depends on underground reserves of fresh water, drawn through a system of water tunnels called the Ta' Kandja galleries, which average about 97 m below surface and extend like the spokes of a wheel. In the galleries in Malta's porous limestone, fresh water lies in a lens upon brine. More than half the potable water of Malta is produced by desalination, which creates further issues of fossil fuel use and pollution.[9]

Snow is virtually unheard of, with very few and brief snow flurries recorded in February 1895, January 1905 and 31 January 1962. No accumulation has been reported on the coast at least since 1858, but on the last day of January 1962 snow briefly covered some parts of the interior of the main island. The following night the only frost in the history of Malta was recorded in the Ta' Qali airfield.[citation needed]

Climate data

Climate data for Malta
Month Jan Feb Mar Apr May Jun Jul Aug Sep Oct Nov Dec Year
Average high °C (°F) 15.2
(59.4)
15.5
(59.9)
16.7
(62.1)
19.1
(66.4)
23.3
(73.9)
27.5
(81.5)
30.7
(87.3)
30.7
(87.3)
28.0
(82.4)
24.2
(75.6)
20.1
(68.2)
16.7
(62.1)
22.3
Daily mean °C (°F) 12.2
(54.0)
12.4
(54.3)
13.4
(56.1)
15.5
(59.9)
19.1
(66.4)
23.0
(73.4)
25.9
(78.6)
26.3
(79.3)
24.1
(75.4)
20.7
(69.3)
17.0
(62.6)
13.9
(57.0)
18.6
Average low °C (°F) 9.2
(48.6)
9.3
(48.7)
10.1
(50.2)
11.9
(53.4)
14.9
(58.8)
18.4
(65.1)
21.0
(69.8)
21.8
(71.2)
20.1
(68.2)
17.1
(62.8)
13.9
(57.0)
11.0
(51.8)
14.9
Precipitation mm (inches) 89.0
(3.504)
61.3
(2.413)
40.9
(1.61)
22.5
(0.886)
6.6
(0.26)
3.2
(0.126)
0.4
(0.016)
7.0
(0.276)
40.4
(1.591)
89.7
(3.531)
80.0
(3.15)
112.3
(4.421)
553.3
(21.783)
Avg. precipitation days (≥ 0.1 mm) 13.7 10.9 8.9 6.4 2.8 1.1 0.4 1.0 3.9 10.2 10.6 14.2 84.1
Sunshine hours 155 174 217 240 310 330 372 341 270 217 180 155 2,961
Source: World Meteorological Organization (UN)[1], weather2travel.com[6] for data of sunshine hours

Records

Despite the relative stasis of the Maltese climate, historical records present some variations. In the capital city of Valletta, meteorological officials of the time recorded on February 19th, 1895, a temperature of 1.2 °C (34.2 °F), which remains a record for the city.[11] Regarding the island as a whole, a temperature of −1.7 °C (28.9 °F) was recorded on the 1st of February, 1962, at Ta' Qali airfield, in the centre of the island, which was pelted first by frozen precipitation (hail), and later in the day covered by snowfall that lasted through the night.[11] Snow, which is virtually unheard of, is officially on the record books of the past 200 years as having occurred in January 1858 (widespread snowfall),March 1877 (light snow without accumulation),February 1895 (snow squalls without accumulation),January 1905 (flurries without accumulation),March 1949 (snow recorded in the interior of the island), and January 31st, 1962.[11] On the last of these dates, January, 1962, some parts of the interior of the island were covered by snow for the majority of the day, and the following night, February the 1st, marks the only event in the history of Malta in which frost was recorded.[11] In August, 1999, the meteorological department at Luqa International Airport measured a record high temperature for the nation of 43.8 °C (110.8 °F).

References


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