MALTA ENJOYED WARMEST DAY IN FEBRUARY AS COLD SPELL GRIPPED MOST OF EUROPE

• Over 181mm of rain measured in February, exceeding climate norm
• Highest air temperature reaches 18.6°C, lowest dips to 6.4°C
• Total of 135.6 hours of sunshine recorded

After three months that were considerably drier than the climate norm, in February the heavens opened and produced 181.4mm of rain. This total exceeded the 56.9mm quota for February, and spilled over the combined rainfall for the preceding three months by 60mm.

With 117mm of rain measured, the ninth day of the month went down on record as the second wettest day in February since 1923. Stretching into Saturday, this rainfall event coincided with Carnival weekend and watered down celebratory spirits as it led to the cancellation of many outdoor activities and parades.

During the month, the islands were also battered by strong winds, with gusts equalling or exceeding 34 knots recorded on five separate days. February’s maximum gust swept over the islands on the thirteenth day of the month, blowing at 44 knots from a North-West by West direction. The mean wind speed for February was 10.6 knots, rather than the 9.5 knots expected at this time of year.

The air temperature dropped to a lowest minimum of 6.4°C on the 16th and climbed to a highest maximum of 18.6°C on the 25th. February’s warmest temperature for the islands was registered at the same time as a cold spell gripped most of Europe and sent temperatures plummeting. At 15.5°C, the month’s mean maximum temperature was 0.1°C lower than the norm, whilst the mean minimum temperature was a considerable 0.7°C higher than the expected 9.4°C.

A heavier mean cloud cover of 4.8 oktas and 46.6 sunshine hours less than the climate norm of 182.2 hours, made the month quite dull. The month’s sunniest day enjoyed a full 10 hours of sunshine, whilst the gloomiest day saw no sunshine at all.

The Meteorological Office also reported three thundery days, two of which also experienced hail.