The opening of the first meteorological office in Malta will be celebrating its 100th anniversary in three years time.
World Meteorological Day was celebrated on Saturday to commemorate the establishment of the World Meteorological Organisation within the United Nations in 1950 and the contribution of the national weather forecast.
Last year was the most stormy year in the records of Malta International Airport’s meteorological office. 16 lightning storms registered in October recorded the month as the most month experiencing lightning ever observed in Malta.
Frequent rain showers were also persistent during the summer months, as happened on the 5th August during a one-hour storm with lightning and heavy rain. There were also rare occasions of snow storms, with the last recorded one was on the eve of New Year’s day in 2014.
The first meteorological office in Malta was based in Gwardamanġa, which opened in July 1922. After four years, it moved to Valletta and following World War II a new station opened for weather forecast at Luqa airport. 30 years ago, the Meteorological Office became part of the company running the airport with the main role of providing detailed weather reports to the aviation industry.
The Meteorological Office provides weather forecast services for Malta and is responsible of notices to the public, seafarers and the emergency services on prevailing heavy storms or dangerous situations, together with other sectors of the economy whose operations depend on weather condition.
Five trained officers work at the Meteorological Office who continually keep, among others, seafarers updated on weather conditions. They collect detailed information on the weather from various localities in the Maltese islands as technological advances have permitted weather to be forecast from a three day forecast to a seven-day period.