A COOL START AND A BRIGHT END TO 2017: THE WEATHER ROUND-UP FOR THE YEAR

  • Rainfall for 2017 amounted to 432mm
  • Highest temperature of 38.7°C reached in July; lowest of 4.2°C recorded in January
  • December enjoys 36.9 hours of sunshine more than climate norm

What started out to be a dull December, with no sunshine recorded on the first day, became sunnier as the month progressed, with the sixth, seventh and twelfth days each enjoying a maximum of 9.2 hours of sunshine. In the end, the month outshone the climate norm of 156.3 hours of sunshine by a full 36.9 hours, bringing the year to a brighter-than-expected close.

A look back at 2017 shows that whilst November was the dullest month, July was the brightest one, treating islanders to just over 365 hours of summer sunshine. Sunny and practically cloudless July days registered some very hot air temperatures, with the mercury shooting up to the year’s highest maximum of 38.7°C on the 13th. Averaging at 56%, July’s humidity levels were the lowest for 2017; a year which has gone down on record as the least humid since 1951.

A windswept January, on the other hand, breezed in with a cold snap, which saw the temperature dip to the year’s lowest minimum of 4.2°C on three separate occasions. Although 2017 started on this rather chilly note, on the whole, the year was slightly warmer than the climate norm, maintaining a mean air temperature of 19.2°C. The average sea temperature ranged between August’s 27.3°C and February’s 15.3°C.

Meteorological records show that the year had 24 thundery days – six of which were observed in January – and two hail occurrences, with the first one being reported in January and the second one being reported on the 18th of December. On the morrow, the air temperature dropped to the month’s lowest minimum of 6°C; a full 5°C lower than the 30-year average on record for this time of year.

Also lower than the climate norm for December was the month’s total rainfall, which amounted to a paltry 44.8mm when compared with the expected 104.8mm. 2017’s wettest month was October, contributing over 23% of the year’s total rainfall of 432mm. Although not as dry as the year preceding it, 2017 was the 23rd driest year the Maltese islands have experienced in the past 94 years.

2017 Highlights

PARAMETER MONTH MEASUREMENT
BRIGHTEST JULY 365.6 sunshine hours
DULLEST NOVEMBER 160.0 sunshine hours
WINDIEST JANUARY Mean wind speed: 10.2 knots
CALMEST AUGUST Mean wind speed: 6 knots
WETTEST OCTOBER 102.4mm
DRIEST JULY 0.01mm
MOST HUMID FEBRUARY 81%
LEAST HUMID JULY 56%
CLOUDIEST JANUARY Average cloud cover: 4.7 oktas
LEAST CLOUDY JULY/AUGUST Average cloud cover: 0.8 oktas

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