October wetter and warmer than expected

The weather last October was characterised by above-average temperatures, strong winds and unusually high rainfall. The average air temperature was 22.5°C, exceeding the climate mean by 1.0°C. High temperatures persisted for most of the month hitting a peak of 30.3°C on the 6th and eventually cooling down after the 21st. In total, 20 days saw maximum temperatures which were higher than the norm, averaging out to 25.7°C in the course of the month, which is 0.7°C above average.

Minimum air temperatures as well as the mean sea temperature followed the same balmy trend with warmer readings than are usual for the period. The mean minimum temperature of 19.3°C was warmer than the climate norm of 18.0°C; while the mean sea temperature was a full 1.2°C higher than the 23.5°C norm. The coolest point in the month was registered on the night of the 22nd with a reading of 11.9°C.

Thunder and hail which are typical of the season made an appearance in October, with thunder being heard on five days which were the 1st, 2nd, 10th, 22nd and 31st, and hail reported on the 22nd. The air was slightly dryer than normal with a mean relative humidity of 75%, which is lower than the climate average of 79%. No fog was observed at Malta International Airport.

October witnessed high rainfall with 11 rainy days producing a total of 102.2mm of rain. This is considerably higher than the norm for October which for comparison is just 75.6mm on average. A total of 0.6mm of dew was measured on the 3rd, 4th and 5th of the month.

October turned out to be very windy with a maximum gust being clocked at 48 knots, originating from a north-westerly direction on the 22nd. Two other days measured peaks of 34 knots or greater while the mean wind speed was registered at 7.7 knots, half a knot above the norm. The wind blew most frequently from the Northwest and was characterised by light winds 73% of the time and variable winds for another 10%.

Despite the trend towards high temperatures October actually saw fewer hours of sunshine than is normally expected, averaging out to 6.3 hours as opposed to the usual 7.0. The brightest day was the 12th with 10.6 hours of sunshine, while the dullest day was the 27th and had no recorded sunshine. Average cloud cover for the month was 4.3 oktas compared to a climate norm of 3.6 oktas and in total the month saw 195.8 hours of sunshine as opposed to the October norm of 218.0 hours.

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