On the 1st August, the wind increased from Force 1 to Force 7 in 12 minutes – what happened?

On the first day of the month, the wind increased from Force 1 to Force 7 in twelve minutes through a phenomenon which was temporarily felt as land was cooling.

On the 1st August many persons felt a strong wind which hit various localities of the Maltese islands, especially during the night and in the early hours of the morning. The wind developed as the Maltese islands were experiencing a heat wave.

Speaking to tvm.com.mt, a spokeswoman for the Meteorological Office said that last Sunday a change was registered in the wind direction from Southeast to Northwest. She added that in Ħal Luqa the strong wind developed from Force 1 to Force 7 in less than fifteen minutes, between 05:45 and 05:57. The strong wind which was felt for around half an hour was likely the result of a breeze which increased due to the difference in sea and land temperature.

Weather and climate expert, Prof Charles Galdies, agreed with this explanation because, he told this site, in the evening and at night the land, including buildings and roads start losing the heat they absorbed during the day, especially during these hot days. He stated that this lost heat reaches the atmosphere and results in lack of air pressure near the land surface. This causes a strong breeze which may enter from the sea.

Prof. Galdies said that this breeze can further strengthen as the difference between the land and sea temperature is higher.

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