MARCH SHOWERS THE ISLANDS WITH 39MM OF RAIN
> March wetter than the months of January and February combined
> Air temperature ranged between a low of 8.8˚C and a maximum of 22.2˚C
> Brightest day clocked up more than 11 hours of sunshine
A dry winter season was followed by a wet start to spring in Malta. Last March produced 39.4mm of much-needed precipitation, partly quenching the island’s thirst for rain.
March, in fact, produced more rain than January (15.0mm) and February (0.6mm) combined, and outpoured the climate norm for the month by 1.5mm of precipitation. With 11.6mm of rainfall measured within 24 hours, the 30th of March went down on record as last month’s wettest day.
This was followed by the month’s brightest day, which clocked up a total of 11.3 hours of sunshine and brought March to a close on a sunny note. Overall, however, the month was duller than the climate norm, enjoying 197.1 hours of sunshine rather than expected 222.3 hours.
A mean cloud cover of 4.2 oktas, which was heavier than expected at this time of year, can partly explain why the month’s days were not bathed in as much sunshine as is usual in March.
Air temperatures for March were slightly warmer than average, and ranged between a lowest minimum of 8.8˚C recorded on the eighth day of the month and a maximum of 22.2˚C reached six days later. Averaging at 16.1˚C, the sea surface temperature was 1˚C higher than the climate norm.
The twenty-fifth day in March brought about the year’s first occurrence of thunder, almost three months after the last thundery instance was reported on the 30th of December 2019. On this day in March, no sunshine was recorded and the month’s strongest gust blowing at 42 knots from an easterly direction was recorded.
In general, the month was windier than expected at this time of year, maintaining a mean wind speed of 10.9 knots rather than the norm of 9.4 knots.