Only 3.4mm of rain fell in April compared to the norm of 20.8mm

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Only 3.4 mm of rain fell in April compared to the norm of 20.8mmApril remained warm and dry, following the weather trend seen in the first three months of the year, the Met Office said today.

Only 3.4mm of rainfall was recorded, a far cry from the norm for April of 20.8mm. The mean maximum temperature was also 2.4°C higher than usual.

This was not the case for some parts of Europe that were hit by wintry showers of hail and snow, which are not totally uncommon for this time of the year.

During the second week of April, the islands experienced a warm spell caused by high pressure coming from over the Sahara desert. This warm spell peaked on the 13th, when temperatures soared to reach 29.1°C.

Although such temperatures are usually experienced in June or September, this was not the warmest April day on record. Back in 1985 the airport's Meteorological Office had registered a maximum temperature of 30.7°C.

On the other hand, last month's lowest minimum temperature dropped to 10.7°C. This is still a rather high lowest minimum temperature, considering that the lowest temperature on record for April is 4.4°C.

While April started off on quite a dull note, days became gradually brighter, with the month finally registering a total of 264.2 hours of sunshine. This means that the Maltese islands enjoyed around 20 hours of sunshine more than expected for this month of the year.

Records show that sea surface temperatures too were higher than usual. At 17.4°C, last month's average sea surface temperature became the highest average sea temperature to be recorded in April since 1978.

The mean wind speed for April was 10.9 knots, with the most frequent direction being the East by North. While 50% of the time winds were light, the maximum gust registered was of 46 knots.

Photograph by Alain Salvary

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