MAY TAKES MALTA BY STORM
>Highest air temperature recorded was 26.7°C, while the lowest dropped to 10.1°C
>Double expected rain falls during stormiest May since 1951
>One occurrence of funnel clouds reported
As the sun set on a relatively dry April, May took Malta by storm, showering the Islands with 7.2mm of rain on the third day of the month. While this was the wettest day for May, a total of 19.2mm of precipitation were measured on the Maltese Islands throughout the month, which is more than double the expected 8.5mm of rain for this time of year.
Despite the fact that May was a generally calm month, winds reached a maximum gust of 48 knots with a SE direction on the 4th of the month, and 6 thunderstorm occurrences were registered. Given that only one thunderstorm is expected during May, last month surpassed the climate norm, making it the stormiest May the Islands have seen since 1951.
The wet weather conditions during the third week of May allowed for the development of funnel clouds, which descended on the Islands on the 14th of the month. The mean cloud cover for the month was 3.7 oktas; this being slightly heavier than the norm of 3.1 oktas.
A refreshing burst of sunshine compensated for the spell of bleak weather on the Islands, with 12.9 hours of sunshine being registered on May 17th, making this the brightest day of the month. Despite the fact that the total 289.7 hours of sunshine recorded during May fell 10 hours short of the expected 299.1 hours for this time of year, the Islands still basked in an average of 9.3 hours of bright sunshine every day.
While May started off on a cool note, seeing air temperatures drop to a low of 10.1°C on the 8th of May, the sun quickly thawed the Islands, leading the air temperature to reach a maximum of 26.7°C on May 29th. The average air temperature was over one degree lower than the climate norm of 19.8°C, standing at 18.3°C. Similarly, the average sea temperature for the month stood at 17.9°C, which is also slightly lower than the climate norm of 18.0°C.