Met Office says that Mediterranean storms are not at hurricane levels

Because of forecasts of more severe storms in the coming hours, in recent hours there have been more warnings of cautions to be taken issued by the Civil Protection Department.

Fast ferry services between Malta and Gozo have been suspended and the catamaran services between Malta and Sicily while Gozo ferry services will continue, if possible.

The News Centre spoke to Met Official Patrick Zahra who said weather conditions in the Mediterranean are unstable, causing storms and strong winds, but not at hurricane level.

A trough of low pressure over the Maltese Islands has caused more rainfall than normally experienced at this time of the year.

If weather conditions in Europe are generally fine, the situation in the Mediterranean is not of the same stability, particularly over Malta and this is causing stormy weather.

Zahra said these conditions have already had a great effect over the Islands. He said rainfall this month has been that of 183 millimetres and has exceeded the average which is 76 millimetres.

And what is Medicane? Zahra said this comes from a Mediterranean hurricane, a word coined by the Italians in recent years. He said this has not been the case in Malta and although there have been strong winds and more are expected this certainly cannot by any means be described as a Medicane.

The Met Office has forecast throughout the night the weather wil be cloudy with rain showers and thunder and strong winds from the north east.