Driest January experienced in the Maltese Islands for 10 years

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Driest January experienced in the Maltese Islands for 10 yearsIt was the driest January the Maltese islands have experienced in the last decade, the Met Office said today. The total rainfall was 79.6mm less than climate norm for January, amounting to just 13.3mm, nowhere near close to the 92.9mm expected at this time of year.

Almost half of January’s total rainfall – 6.4mm – was measured on the twelfth day of the month. This day also accounted for January’s only hail occurrence.

The Met Office said that temperatures for the month ranged between the highest maximum of 19.2°C and the lowest minimum of 7°C.

It added that at 16.9°C, the mean maximum temperature exceeded the climate norm by 1.3°C, whilst the mean minimum temperature was a considerable 1.6°C higher than the expected 9.9°C.

The sea was also warmer, maintaining a mean surface temperature of 16.5°C rather than the climate norm of 15.8°C.

There was a total of 169.1 hours of sunshine to accompany the warmer temperatures and a mean cloud cover of 4 oktas.

There was no sunshine on the 15th of January, but it did not go missing for long as two days later it shone for the month’s maximum of 9.3 hours. This is more than the total sunshine hours enjoyed by certain French cities in all of the first half of January.

The Met Office concluded its report by saying that January was also windier than usual, registering a mean speed of 11.1 knots rather than the expected 9.2 knots. The maximum gust recorded blew at 47 knots from a North-Westerly direction on the second day of the month.

Photograph by Alain Salvary

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