• June’s mean maximum air temperature was 2.4°C higher than the norm
  • June was less sunny than average, with 294 hours of sunshine recorded
  • Only 0.8mm of precipitation were measured during the month

A heatwave that stretched from June 20 until July 1 plunged the Maltese islands right into the summer season.

During the latter part of June, hot air coming from the Sahara Desert was trapped by a high-pressure system over the central Mediterranean, leading the temperature in Malta to rise until it reached a blistering 41.5°C on the last day of the month. This is the highest June temperature on the Meteorological Office’s records, which date back to 1923 for the month.

While many flocked to the beach for some relief from the unrelenting heat, especially as June drew to a close, the mean sea surface temperature too was considerably higher than expected at this time of year, surpassing the monthly norm of 21.5°C by 1.9°C.

On the other hand – at 31.0°C – last June’s mean maximum air temperature was 2.4°C higher than the norm. A look at meteorological records for the month, however, shows that June 2019 remained the hottest June in the past five years, with a mean maximum temperature of 31.4°C.

Hazy weather dominated the latter part of the month, as the presence of dust in suspension and high-level clouds on multiple occasions obscured the sun. In fact, June was not as sunny as expected, with the total hours of sunshine recorded falling 34 hours short of the monthly sunshine quota of 328 hours.

Having clocked up just two hours of sunshine, June 2 was the month’s dullest and only wet day. Precipitation measured on the day amounted to a paltry 0.8mm, making the month markedly drier than the norm of 4.0mm.

June was also slightly calmer than expected, having maintained a mean wind speed that was 0.2 knots below the monthly norm of 7.6 knots. June 26 accounted for the month’s maximum gust of 29 knots blowing from a northwesterly direction.