FEBRUARY PRODUCES 70% OF THE METEOROLOGICAL WINTER’S RAINFALL
- 181 mm of rain were measured in February, making it one of the wettest locally
- February’s wettest day produced just over 140 mm of rainfall
- Thick and persistent fog blanketed the islands on 23rd February
The meteorological winter produced 257.4 mm of rainfall, 70 per cent of which fell during a wetter-than-average February. With 181 mm of rainfall measured, last February went down on the Meteorological Office’s records as one of the wettest Februaries the Maltese Islands have experienced in the past years.
The ninth day was the month’s wettest, dumping on the Maltese Islands just over double an average February’s worth of rain. On the day, 140.4 mm of precipitation were measured by the Meteorological Office in Luqa as Storm Helios battered the islands and other parts of the central Mediterranean. The day was also the month’s gloomiest, together with the seventh day, with no sunshine recorded.
Unstable weather continued into the next day, prompting the Meteorological Office to renew its warning for strong winds. On 10th February, the month’s strongest wind gust of 49 knots blowing from the Southeast by East direction was measured. However, February was generally calmer than expected, with the wind speed averaging at 7.9 knots rather than the monthly climatic norm of 9.4 knots.
The weather stabilised by Carnival weekend, allowing outdoor celebrations to go on as planned. The month’s sunniest day, which was bathed in 9.1 hours of sunshine, fell on the final day of Carnival festivities. On the morrow, the month’s temperature peaked at 18.8°C, while the lowest temperature had been registered six days into the month at 5.3°C.
At 12.2°C, February’s average air temperature was 0.4°C lower than the climate norm, while the mean sea surface temperature, which stood at 16.3°C, was 1°C higher than the norm.
The stable weather that characterised most of the latter half of February, together with fields that were still saturated in the aftermath of Storm Helios, provided the perfect conditions for the formation of thick and persistent fog on the morning of the 23rd of February. This was one day, out of a total of four, on which fog was reported by the Meteorological Office.
Published on: 23.03.23