LAST MARCH WAS THE COLDEST THE MALTESE ISLANDS HAVE EXPERIENCED SINCE 1987
- Temperature averaged at 12.4°C; 1.7°C lower than the monthly norm
- With a total of 176.5 sunshine hours measured, March was much less sunny than the norm
- March yielded 23.8 mm of precipitation, which was lower than the expected 39.7 mm
MARCH WEATHER ROUND-UP
The Maltese Islands last month experienced the coldest start to spring since 1987, with the air temperature for March having averaged at 12.4°C. This average was closer to the February climate norm of 12.6°C than to the March norm of 14.1°C.
Last month’s highest temperature peaked at 25.2°C on the last day, having previously dipped to a minimum of 6.0°C on March 11. While this minimum was quite low for March, it was not comparable to the lowest March temperature on record of 2.2°C, which dates back to 1949. In 1987, a similar minimum of 2.4°C had been recorded, with the air temperature for the month that year having averaged at 11.8°C.
A look at last month’s mean sea surface temperature, on the other hand, shows that this equalled the March climate norm for of 15.3°C.
While March generally ushers in sunnier weather along with longer days, the start to last spring was hardly steeped in sunshine. A heavier mean cloud cover of 4.2 oktas together with several instances of dust in suspension led to the clocking of 48.2 sunshine hours less than the norm of 224.7 hours.
Two days in March – 13 and 19 – were marked by a complete absence of sunshine. Having yielded 18.4 mm of rain, or 77% of the total rainfall measured, March 13 was also the wettest day of a drier-than-average month.
March 19, on the other hand, was a windswept Saturday and followed the day that produced last month’s strongest wind gust of 47 knots from the East Southeast direction. Averaging at 11.1 knots, the wind speed for the month was higher than the climate norm of 9.5 knots.
EASTER WEEKEND WEATHER FORECAST
The strong winds (force 6-7) from an East Northeast direction that are already sweeping across the Maltese Islands are set to persist until Friday night. A strong wind warning for the public together with a preliminary Gregale advisory for the Grand Harbour and Marsamxett, which are strongly impacted by Northeasterly winds, are currently in force. As blustery weather continues to affect the Maltese Islands, rough seas are expected to become rough to very rough on Friday.
The wind is expected to decrease on Saturday. An overnight change in the direction between Saturday and Sunday will see the Maltese Islands wake up to light (force 3) winds from the North Northwest on Easter Sunday, which will back West Northwest and become force 4 – 5.
The skies will be generally cloudy over the coming days, with isolated showers expected on Friday afternoon and Saturday night.
Between today and Sunday, the air temperature is expected to range between a low of 12°C and a high of 18°C.
Published on: 14.04.22