Malta’s May 2019 stormiest since 1951

(source: Malta International Airport media department)

Last Updated on Wednesday, 19 June, 2019 at 9:41 am by Christian Keszthelyi

Malta witnessed the stormiest May this year since 1951, with temperatures fluctuating between the highest 26.7°C and the lowest 10.1°C, according to a press release the Malta International Airport (MLA) sent to Business Malta. On one occasion, the formation of funnel clouds was recorded during the month.

Despite generally being a calm month, May’s winds reached a maximum gust of 48 knots (88+ kph) with a SE direction on the 4 May. During May six thunderstorm occurrences were registered. Given that only one thunderstorm is usually expected during May, last month surpassed the climate norm, making it the stormiest May the island nation has seen since 1951.

The predominantly wet weather in the third week of the month sparked the development of funnel clouds, which descended on the Maltese islands on 14 May. The mean cloud cover for the month was 3.7 oktas — a unit used in expressing the extent of cloud cover, equal to one-eighth of the sky — slightly heavier than the norm of 3.1 oktas.

With 12.9 hours of sunshine, 17 May was the brightest day of the month. Nevertheless, 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. Still, the area received an average of 9.3 hours of bright sunshine every day.

May started off on a cool note, seeing air temperatures drop to a low of 10.1°C on 8 May, while the maximum of 26.7°C on only hit the islands on 29 May. 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.

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Christian used to be the editor of Business Malta, the predecessor of Malta Business Weekly’s online platform. As an avid journalist and writer, he believes that good content has a great flow that seamlessly guides the reader from the beginning to the end. He knows that words have immense power, and ruthlessly edits his own copy when chasing perfection (although he knows an article is never ready.)