Current Affairs
December yielded 40 more hours of sunshine than was expected

Those who opted to spend their end-of-the-year vacations in Malta were rewarded with sunny days and relatively warm temperatures last month. According to Met Office records, the sun shone for 211.7 hours in December, that is, 40 hours more than expected for this final month of the year.

Towards the end of the month however, temperatures experienced a considerable drop from 19.4°C on the 4th and 5th December to 5.7°C on the 28th of the month. This was the lowest temperature recorded throughout 2018. Despite this sharp contrast the weather was moderate throughout the month with wind averaging 10.1 knots and 30.2mm of rainfall, of which 79% fell in one day, the 1st day of the month.

Although the year ended on a generally sunny note, 2018 was a less sunny year than the previous year. Nevertheless, the islands enjoyed more than 236 hours of sunshine per month, amounting to approximately 65% of daylight hours.

July was the year’s brightest month and registered the least rainfall with 362.6 hours of sunshine and only 0.4mm of dew, while February was the darkest month with only 136 hours of sunshine and the most cloud overcast hours.

Fields in Malta and Gozo were well-vegetated throughout the year. Rainfall throughout the year was measured at 599mm, that is 167mm more than in 2017 and 275mm more than in 2016. Although January was generally a dry month, February proved a good yield with 181.4mm of rain. Of this, a total of 177mm were recorded on 9th February and thus this became the second largest rainfall day in February since 1923.

With a total of 189mm of rainfall and 16 days of thunder and lightning, October was the rainiest and stormiest month last year and the most thundery month ever recorded.

With an average of 77% in October this was last year’s highest humidity month. The least humid day followed the warmest day which was 13th July.

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