OVER 90% OF WINTER DAYS EXPERIENCED SUNSHINE: A ROUND-UP FOR THE SEASON
- Temperature peaked at 20.2˚C and reached lowest minimum of 6˚C
- Total hours of sunshine for the season amounted to 497.9
- February was winter’s wettest month, while January was the season’s windiest
Surveyed tourists travelling to Malta between December and February cited the weather as one of the top three reasons that drew them to the island. During these three months, which constitute the meteorological winter, the sun shone for over 490 hours and the air temperature never dipped below the 6˚C mark to ultimately average at 13.5˚C.
Both winter’s highest maximum air temperature of 20.2˚C and the lowest minimum were recorded in December. At 17.9˚C, December’s average sea surface temperature was the highest for the season, marginally exceeding the norm for the twelfth month. January’s (16.5˚C) and February’s (15.8˚C) average sea surface tempartures were also higher than the climate norm by 0.7˚C and 0.8˚C, respectively.
Winter months enjoyed their fair share of sunshine, with five days being exceptionally bright and on which the sun shone for between 9.2 and 10 hours. On the other hand, the sun did not as much as peek out on six days out of a total of 90 winter days.
Generally mild winter weather was punctuated by some very strong winds, five thundery days, four hail occurrences, and 117mm of rainfall recorded within the span of 24 hours in February. Following two months that were significantly drier than expected, and producing 181.4mm of winter’s total precipitation of 239mm, February was the season’s wettest month and the second wettest February on record since 1923.
While all three months were windier than expected, maintaining an average wind speed of 11.1 knots, January was the season’s most blustery month. The month also accounted for winter’s strongest gust, which blew at 47 knots from a north-westerly direction on the 2nd of January.
|BRIGHTEST||DECEMBER||193.2 sunshine hours|
|DULLEST||FEBRUARY||135.6 sunshine hours|
|WINDIEST||JANUARY||Mean wind speed: 11.1 knots|
|CALMEST||DECEMBER||Mean wind speed: 10 knots|
Now that we are settling into spring, a look at the first month of the season shows that March was brighter, warmer, wetter, and windier than the norm for this time of year.
Sunshine hours for the month amounted to 238.8 hours and the maximum air temperature exceeded the climatic norm by 0.9˚C to peak at 23.5˚C on the second day.
A total of 45.8mm of precipation made the month wetter than expected at this time of year. 27.2mm of this total, and one of the two hail occurences for the month, were recorded on the 23rd of March.
The month’s mean wind speed was 11.2 knots, reaching a maximum of 41.8 knots on the 25th of March.