• January’s maximum temperature reached 18.1°C; minimum dropped to 4.2°C
  • Total rainfall amounting to 78.2 mm was slightly lower than the climate norm
  • One hail occurrence and two thunderstorms were reported during the month

A colder-than-average January saw the temperature drop to a low of 4.2°C, as a ridge of high pressure dominating Europe led to the advection of cold air from the Balkans towards the central Mediterranean. This temperature was the lowest for the month to be registered by the Meteorological Office since January 2019, when a minimum of 4.1°C had been recorded.

Last January’s maximum temperature, on the other hand, rose to 18.1°C two days into the month. This high remained well below the month’s record temperature of 25.8°C, which was reached in 2021 as warm Southwesterly winds from the Sahara Desert fanned the mercury and a dense cloud cover trapped the heat over the Maltese Islands.

Last January maintained an average wind speed of 9.6 knots, which is slightly higher than the climate norm of 8.9 knots. A maximum gust of 45 knots blowing from a Northwesterly direction whipped the islands on the tenth day of the month as hail pelted several localities. Last month’s solitary hail occurrence fell exactly between the occurrence of two thunderstorms on 7 and 13 January.

Having clocked no sunshine hours, the seventh day was the bleakest day in an otherwise sunnier-than-average month. Last January, in fact, outshone the climate norm by almost 28 hours and brightened wintry days with 197.2 hours of sunshine. This can be attributed in part to clearer skies resulting from a lower mean cloud cover of 3.3 oktas, rather than the expected 4.2 oktas.

At 78.2 mm, precipitation for the month fell slightly below the 1991-2020 climate norm of 79.3 mm. This monthly norm was last surpassed in 2019, when 99.8 mm of precipitation were measured, exactly a decade after the wettest January on record had yielded 248.2 mm of rain.

Published on: 16 January 2022