The Malta Independent 24 October 2021, Sunday

September produced 31% of total rainfall measured during precipitation year 2020-2021

Monday, 6 September 2021, 12:21 Last update: about 3 months ago

August brought to a close the meteorological summer as well as the precipitation year 2020 – 2021, during which 395.3mm of rainfall were measured in Luqa.

This amount fell 171.7mm short of the climatic norm, which is based on precipitation averages spanning from 1981 until 2010, the Met Office said in a statement. 

Although the precipitation year turned out to be much drier than the climate norm, it did start off on a particularly wet note, with September 2020 producing 121.2mm of rainfall or more than double the amount expected during this month. September was the only month of the year to yield above-average precipitation, becoming the precipitation year’s wettest month and the seventh wettest September on record.

Despite it being drier than average, November was the precipitation year’s second-wettest month with 77.1mm of rainfall measured. The meteorological autumn, which is composed of September, October, and November, was the year’s wettest season, having accounted for 223.1mm or more than half the total rainfall collected between September 2020 and August 2021. This season is generally associated with showery episodes - rather than the winter months’ prolonged periods of rain – which result from convective (fluffly-looking) clouds and are punctuated by intervals of drier and sunnier weather.

The meteorological winter yielded just over half the expected seasonal rainfall. The 141.0mm of rain measured during this season were mainly collected in December (62.8mm), which was the wettest December since 2014, and January (70.4mm), which clocked the highest total of rainy days – 15 – of all months. February’s contribution to winter’s total rainfall was a paltry 7.8mm, which came nowhere close to the norm for the month of 56.9mm of rain. February 2021, in fact, went down on record as the sixth driest February since 1923.

Rainfall for the period stretching from March to August amounted to just 31.2mm, with the first month of the meteorological spring being the biggest contributor to this total. March, in fact, kicked off the spring season with a couple of stormy days and 27.0mm of precipitation. Between April and August 2021, no thundery days were registered, with the total for the year amounting to 28. Having produced no rain, July was the driest month of the precipitation year, followed by May (0.4mm of dew) and June and August (0.8mm).

Compared to the previous five years, the precipitation year 2020-2021 was wetter than or comparable to the years 2019-2020 (384.4mm), 2016-2017 (389.9mm), and 2015-2016 (319.6mm), and considerably drier than 2017-2018 (569.1mm) and 2018-2019 (547.0mm).

 

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