The Malta Independent 13 November 2018, Tuesday

October was the stormiest month since 1951 - MIA

Friday, 9 November 2018, 11:33 Last update: about 3 days ago

Over 10 hours of sunshine and the month’s maximum temperature of 27.4˚C, both recorded on the first day of the month, might have raised hopes that mild weather would linger a little longer. However, October went on to become the stormiest month since 1951, the Malta International Airport said.

October air temperatures ranged between a pleasant highest maximum of 27.4˚C and a lowest minimum of 13.8˚C recorded on the last day of the month. At 21.5˚C, the mean air temperature was equal to the 30-year climate norm for October. On the other hand, the mean sea temperature was 1.4˚C higher than the norm of 23.5˚C.

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While the first day of the month was the sunniest, the second day was the wettest, and somewhat bleaker with 4.4 hours of sunshine recorded. On the day, the islands were pelted by 43.8 mm of rain – namely around 23 per cent of October’s much-needed total rainfall - resulting from a low-pressure system over Corsica which moved in a southerly direction.

The 189.0 mm of rain collected last month heavily outpoured the 75.6 mm of rain expected at this time of year. However, this came nowhere near close to the extreme amount of 476.5 mm of rain measured in October 1951. On the other hand, with 16 thundery days, last month did displace October 1962 (12 thundery days) as the stormiest October on record.

However, not all was doom and gloom, as the sun shone for a total of 187.7 hours. Meteorological data show that only three October days – 14th, 18th and 31st - did not enjoy any sunshine whatsoever. On the 31st of October, the islands also experienced thunderstorms and a prolonged period of precipitation, which certainly dampened many a trick-or-treater’s plans.

Averaging at 7.8 knots, the wind speed was 0.6 knots higher than the norm. The month’s windiest day was the 21st of October, on which a maximum gust of 37.5 knots blowing from a north by east direction was recorded.

Other meteorological observations include reports of dust from the Sahara Desert on 28 and 29 October.

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