Climate of Malta

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Malta
Climate chart (explanation)
J F M A M J J A S O N D
 
 
95
 
 
16
10
 
 
63
 
 
16
10
 
 
37
 
 
18
11
 
 
26
 
 
20
13
 
 
9.2
 
 
24
17
 
 
5.4
 
 
28
20
 
 
0.2
 
 
31
23
 
 
6
 
 
32
23
 
 
67
 
 
28
22
 
 
77
 
 
25
19
 
 
109
 
 
21
15
 
 
108
 
 
18
12
Average max. and min. temperatures in °C
Precipitation totals in mm
Source: MaltaWeather[1]

Malta has a subtropical-Mediterranean climate according to the Köppen climate classification (Csa),[2][3] with very mild winters and warm to hot summers. Rain occurs mainly in winter, with summer being generally dry. According to the Troll-Paffen climate classification[4] and the Siegmund/Frankenberg climate classification,[5] Malta lies within the subtropical zone. According to International Living, Malta is the state with the best climate in the world.[6]

Temperature[edit]

The average yearly temperature is around 23 °C (73 °F) during the day and 16 °C (61 °F) at night (one of the warmest temperature averages in Europe). In the coldest month – January – the typical maximum temperature ranges from 12 to 20 °C (54 to 68 °F) during the day and the minimum from 7 to 12 °C (45 to 54 °F) at night. In the warmest month – August – the typical maximum temperature ranges from 28 to 34 °C (82 to 93 °F) during the day and the minimum from 20 to 24 °C (68 to 75 °F) at night.

A winter day in Malta: mild temperatures, sometimes cloudy or rainy, green vegetation.

Generally, the summer/holiday season lasts around 8 months, starting from around mid-April with temperatures from 19–23 °C (66–73 °F) during the day and 13–14 °C (55–57 °F) at night, and ending in November with temperatures from 17–23 °C (63–73 °F) during the day and 11–20 °C (52–68 °F) at night. However even in the remaining 4 months of the year temperatures sometimes reach 20 °C (68 °F). Amongst all capitals in the continent of Europe, Valletta – the capital of Malta has the warmest winters, with average temperatures of around 16 °C (61 °F) during the day and 10 °C (50 °F) at night in the months of January and February. In March and December average temperatures are around 17 °C (63 °F) during the day and 11 °C (52 °F) at night.[7] The average number of days above 32 °C (89.6 °F) is 15, most of which occur during July and August.[8] In Malta large fluctuations in temperature are rare. Also, Malta is one of the few places in Europe which is "green" all year round (vegetation does not die during the winter).

Malta is one of only a handful of locations in Europe with a USDA hardiness zone of 11a, that is the average absolute minimum temperature recorded each year is between 4.4 to 7.2 °C (39.9 to 45.0 °F).

Daylight[edit]

Malta enjoys one of the most optimal number of hours of daylight in Europe. Days in winter are not as short as in the northern part of the continent, the average hours of daylight in December, January and February is 10.3 hours[9] (for comparison: London[10] or Moscow[11] or Warsaw[12] - about 8 hours). The shortest day of the year - 21 December - sunrise is around 7:00 and sunset is around 17:00. The longest day of the year - 21 June - sunrise is around 5:30 and sunset is around 20:30.[13]

Average hours of daylight[7]
Hours Jan Feb Mar Apr May Jun Jul Aug Sep Oct Nov Dec
Day 10 11 12 13 14 15 14 13 12 11 10 10
Twilight/Night 14 13 12 11 10 9 10 11 12 13 14 14

Sunshine[edit]

As one might expect from Malta's high daylight hours, Malta enjoys around 3,000 hours of sunshine per year (also one of the highest in Europe), from an average of above 5 hours of sunshine per day in December to an average of above 12 hours of sunshine per day in July.[1][9] Thus, Malta enjoys about twice the amount of sunshine as cities in the northern half of Europe. For comparison, London has 1,461 hours per year;[14] however, in winter Malta has much more sunshine. For comparison, London has 37 hours[14] while Malta has 161 hours of sunshine in December.[1]

Climate data for Malta
Month Jan Feb Mar Apr May Jun Jul Aug Sep Oct Nov Dec Year
Mean monthly sunshine hours 169.3 178.1 227.2 253.8 309.7 336.9 376.7 352.2 270.0 223.8 195.0 161.2 3,054
Mean daily sunshine hours 5.46 6.36 7.33 8.46 9.99 11.23 12.15 11.36 9.00 7.22 6.50 5.20 8.4
Percent possible sunshine 58 62 64 67 72 81 87 88 77 65 62 55 70
Source: MaltaWeather (Mean daily and monthly sunshine hours),[1] climatemps.com (Percent possible sunshine)[15]

Sea temperature[edit]

Average annual temperature of sea is 20 °C (68 °F) (the highest annual sea temperature in Europe), from 15–16 °C (59–61 °F) in the period from January to April to 26 °C (79 °F) in August. In the 6 months from June to November, the average sea temperature exceeds 20 °C (68 °F). In May and December - the transition months - the average is around 18 °C (64 °F).

In the second half of April, which is the beginning of the summer/holiday season the average sea temperature is 17 °C (63 °F). The highest sea temperature is 27 °C (81 °F) in the middle-3rd week of August. In late August and early September the temperature drops to 26 °C (79 °F), and in the second half of September it drops to 25 °C (77 °F). Around mid-October it drops to 24 °C (75 °F), and during the last week of October it drops to 23 °C (73 °F). By early November the temperature drops to 22 °C (72 °F) (data of 2010).[7][16]

Average sea temperature according to the MaltaWeather.com[1]
Jan Feb Mar Apr May Jun Jul Aug Sep Oct Nov Dec Year
15.4 °C (59.7 °F) 14.9 °C (58.8 °F) 15.0 °C (59.0 °F) 15.9 °C (60.6 °F) 17.5 °C (63.5 °F) 21.1 °C (70.0 °F) 24.1 °C (75.4 °F) 25.8 °C (78.4 °F) 25.2 °C (77.4 °F) 23.2 °C (73.8 °F) 20.6 °C (69.1 °F) 17.4 °C (63.3 °F) 20 °C (68 °F)
Average sea temperature according to the seatemperature.org[17]
Jan Feb Mar Apr May Jun Jul Aug Sep Oct Nov Dec Year
16.1 °C (61.0 °F) 15.4 °C (59.7 °F) 15.4 °C (59.7 °F) 16.3 °C (61.3 °F) 18.7 °C (65.7 °F) 22.6 °C (72.7 °F) 25.5 °C (77.9 °F) 26.1 °C (79.0 °F) 25.5 °C (77.9 °F) 23.4 °C (74.1 °F) 21.2 °C (70.2 °F) 18.1 °C (64.6 °F) 20 °C (68 °F)
Average sea temperature according to the weather2travel.com[18]
Jan Feb Mar Apr May Jun Jul Aug Sep Oct Nov Dec Year
16 °C (61 °F) 16 °C (61 °F) 16 °C (61 °F) 16 °C (61 °F) 18 °C (64 °F) 21 °C (70 °F) 24 °C (75 °F) 26 °C (79 °F) 25 °C (77 °F) 23 °C (73 °F) 21 °C (70 °F) 18 °C (64 °F) 20 °C (68 °F)

Precipitation[edit]

Water supply poses a problem on Malta, as the summer is both rainless and the time of greatest water use, and the winter rainfall often falls as heavy showers running off to the sea rather than soaking into the ground. Malta depends on underground reserves of fresh water, drawn through a system of water tunnels called the Ta' Kandja galleries, which average about 97 m below surface and extend like the spokes of a wheel. In the galleries in Malta's porous limestone, fresh water lies in a lens upon brine. More than half the potable water of Malta is produced by desalination, which creates further issues of fossil fuel use and pollution.[19]

Malta has an average of 90 precipitation days a year, and experiences from a few to a dozen rainy days per month (≥ 1 mm), ranging from 0.5 of a day in July to around 15 in December. The average annual precipitation is around 600 mm, ranging from ~0.3 mm in July to ~110 mm in December.[1]

Climate data for Malta (Balzan in the central part of the island)
Month Jan Feb Mar Apr May Jun Jul Aug Sep Oct Nov Dec Year
Average precipitation mm (inches) 94.7
(3.728)
63.4
(2.496)
37.0
(1.457)
26.3
(1.035)
9.2
(0.362)
5.4
(0.213)
0.2
(0.008)
6.0
(0.236)
67.4
(2.654)
77.2
(3.039)
108.6
(4.276)
107.7
(4.24)
603.1
(23.744)
Avg. precipitation days (≥ 0.1 mm) 15 12 9 6 3 1 0 1 5 9 13 16 90
Source: MaltaWeather.com[1]

Humidity[edit]

The annual average relative humidity is 73%, ranging from 65% in July (morning: 78% evening: 53%) to 78% in December (morning: 83% evening: 73%).[8]

Records[edit]

Despite the relative stasis of the Maltese climate, historical records present some variations. In the capital city of Valletta, meteorological officials of the time recorded a temperature of 1.2 °C (34.2 °F) on 19 February 1895, which remains a record for the city.[21] Regarding the island as a whole, a temperature of −1.7 °C (28.9 °F) was recorded on 1 February 1962, at Ta' Qali airfield, in the centre of the island, which was pelted first by frozen precipitation (hail), and later in the day covered by snowfall that lasted through the night, though this temperature is not recognised by the Malta Met Office as it was not an official recording station and didn't use worldwide meteorological standard instruments.[21] Snow, which is virtually unheard of, is officially on the record books of the past 200 years as having occurred in January 1858 (widespread snowfall), March 1877 (light snow without accumulation), February 1895 (snow squalls without accumulation), January 1905 (flurries without accumulation), March 1949 (snow recorded in the interior of the island), and 31 January 1962,[21] On 31 December 2014 "snow" was reported at various locations.[22] however the Malta Met Office has now confirmed these were showers of soft hail or graupel sometimes also called snow pellets, but they are actually small lumps of ice. That Winter went on to be one of the coldest and stormiest ever experienced in the Maltese Islands.[23][24] It is thought that most historical reports of snow are likely to have also been graupel.

The lowest temperature ever recorded at Luqa International Airport was in January 1981, with 1.4 °C (34.5 °F), and the highest temperature was 43.8 °C (110.8 °F)[25] recorded in August 1999.

Among all countries in the world, Malta recorded the 5th highest temperature: 1.4 °C (34.5 °F) (after tropical Malaysia, Puerto Rico, Bangladesh and Philippines) among lowest temperatures ever recorded.

Climate data for Malta
Month Jan Feb Mar Apr May Jun Jul Aug Sep Oct Nov Dec Year
Record high °C (°F) 22.2
(72)
26.7
(80.1)
33.5
(92.3)
30.7
(87.3)
35.3
(95.5)
40.1
(104.2)
42.7
(108.9)
43.8
(110.8)
37.4
(99.3)
34.5
(94.1)
28.2
(82.8)
24.3
(75.7)
43.8
(110.8)
Record low °C (°F) 1.4
(34.5)
1.7
(35.1)
2.2
(36)
4.4
(39.9)
8.0
(46.4)
12.6
(54.7)
15.5
(59.9)
15.9
(60.6)
13.2
(55.8)
8.0
(46.4)
5.0
(41)
3.6
(38.5)
1.4
(34.5)
Source: Malta Airport Meteorological Office (extremes 1947−2010)[25]
Climate data for Malta (Balzan in the central part of the island)
Month Jan Feb Mar Apr May Jun Jul Aug Sep Oct Nov Dec Year
Record high °C (°F) 22.2
(72)
24.1
(75.4)
33.5
(92.3)
31.7
(89.1)
37.3
(99.1)
40.1
(104.2)
43.1
(109.6)
43.0
(109.4)
39.2
(102.6)
33.5
(92.3)
28.9
(84)
24.9
(76.8)
43.1
(109.6)
Record low °C (°F) 3.9
(39)
2.6
(36.7)
4.8
(40.6)
6.5
(43.7)
10.5
(50.9)
14.7
(58.5)
17.4
(63.3)
18.0
(64.4)
15.4
(59.7)
11.3
(52.3)
5.7
(42.3)
3.6
(38.5)
2.6
(36.7)
Source: MaltaWeather.com[1]

Climate data[edit]

Climate data for Malta (Balzan in the central part of main island, since 1985)
Month Jan Feb Mar Apr May Jun Jul Aug Sep Oct Nov Dec Year
Average high °C (°F) 16.1
(61)
16.0
(60.8)
17.8
(64)
20.0
(68)
24.2
(75.6)
28.5
(83.3)
31.5
(88.7)
31.8
(89.2)
28.4
(83.1)
25.2
(77.4)
21.0
(69.8)
17.5
(63.5)
23.16
(73.69)
Daily mean °C (°F) 13.2
(55.8)
13.0
(55.4)
14.6
(58.3)
16.7
(62.1)
20.4
(68.7)
24.4
(75.9)
27.2
(81)
27.7
(81.9)
25.0
(77)
21.9
(71.4)
18.0
(64.4)
14.7
(58.5)
19.73
(67.51)
Average low °C (°F) 10.3
(50.5)
9.9
(49.8)
11.3
(52.3)
13.3
(55.9)
16.6
(61.9)
20.3
(68.5)
22.8
(73)
23.6
(74.5)
21.6
(70.9)
18.6
(65.5)
15.0
(59)
11.9
(53.4)
16.26
(61.27)
Average precipitation mm (inches) 94.7
(3.728)
63.4
(2.496)
37.0
(1.457)
26.3
(1.035)
9.2
(0.362)
5.4
(0.213)
0.2
(0.008)
6.0
(0.236)
67.4
(2.654)
77.2
(3.039)
108.6
(4.276)
107.7
(4.24)
603.1
(23.744)
Avg. precipitation days 15 12 9 6 3 1 0 1 5 9 13 16 90
Mean monthly sunshine hours 169.3 178.1 227.2 253.8 309.7 336.9 376.7 352.2 270.0 223.8 195.0 161.2 3,053.9
Source: MaltaWeather.com[1]

References[edit]

  1. ^ a b c d e f g h i "Malta's Climate". Maltaweather.com. Retrieved October 2013. 
  2. ^ "The World Factbook". Cia.gov. Retrieved 2015-06-01. 
  3. ^ [1][dead link]
  4. ^ "Tiscali Webspace". Web.tiscali.it. Retrieved 2015-06-01. 
  5. ^ PH Heidelberg. "Klimakarte der Erde: Pädagogische Hochschule Heidelberg". Ph-heidelberg.de. Retrieved 2015-06-01. 
  6. ^ "Malta tops International Living’s 2011 Quality of Life Best Climate Index - Chetcuti Cauchi, Malta". Ccmalta.com. 2012-02-16. Retrieved 2015-06-01. 
  7. ^ a b c [2][dead link]
  8. ^ a b "Valletta, Malta Travel Weather Averages". Weatherbase.com. Retrieved 2015-06-01. 
  9. ^ a b "Climate Data for Luqa". National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration. Retrieved 15 October 2012. 
  10. ^ "London Climate and Weather Averages, UK". Weather2travel.com. Retrieved 2015-06-01. 
  11. ^ "Moscow Climate and Weather Averages, Russia (Europe)". Weather2travel.com. Retrieved 2015-06-01. 
  12. ^ "Warsaw Climate and Weather Averages, Poland". Weather2travel.com. Retrieved 2015-06-01. 
  13. ^ "City weather: The weather for Maltese Islands, Malta". Weathercast.co.uk. 2007-01-30. Retrieved 2015-06-01. 
  14. ^ a b "Met Office: Climate averages 1971-2000". Met Office. Retrieved 2015-06-02. 
  15. ^ a b "Sunshine & Daylight Hours in Luqa, Malta Sunlight, Cloud & Day length". Malta.climatemps.com. Retrieved 2015-06-01. 
  16. ^ "Valletta Climate Guide". Weather2travel.com. Retrieved 5 June 2009. 
  17. ^ Copyright Global Sea Temperatures - A-Connect Ltd. "Birżebbuġa Sea Temperature December Average, Malta Water Temperatures". 35.82583;14.52694: Seatemperature.org. Retrieved 2015-06-01. 
  18. ^ "Malta Climate and Weather Averages". Weather2travel.com. Retrieved 2015-06-01. 
  19. ^ McGrath, Matt (2007-04-04). "Science/Nature | Briny future for vulnerable Malta". News.bbc.co.uk. Retrieved 2015-06-01. 
  20. ^ a b "World Weather Information Service - Luqa, Malta". World Meteorological Organization. Retrieved 26 February 2013. 
  21. ^ a b c Dr. Charles Mifsud (1985). The Climate of the Maltese Islands. Mireva Publication. 
  22. ^ "Updated - 'Snowflakes' reported in several parts of Malta - Met Office 'monitoring' situation". Timesofmalta.com. 2014-12-31. Retrieved 2015-06-01. 
  23. ^ "Last Maltese winter one of the stormiest in 20 years | Malta Weather - Malta Airport Met Office". Weather.maltairport.com. Retrieved 2015-06-01. 
  24. ^ "December brought snow pellets and record low temperatures". MaltaToday.com.mt. 2015-01-07. Retrieved 2015-06-01. 
  25. ^ a b c Galdies, Charles (2011). "The Climate of Malta: statistics, trends, and analysis 1951-2010". National Statistics Office. pp. 6–7. Retrieved 26 February 2013. 
  26. ^ "Luqa Weather Averages 1981-2010". Meteo-climat-bzh.dyndns.org. Retrieved 2015-06-02.