The Malta Independent 26 May 2024, Sunday
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A dry March welcomes spring with only 8.8mm of rain

Tuesday, 16 April 2024, 15:41 Last update: about 2 months ago

In line with the trend observed in the first months of 2024 and the latter half of last year, the Maltese Islands received below-average rainfall in March, the Met Office said Tuesday.

In fact, only 8.8mm of rain were recorded throughout the month, which is significantly below the 39.7mm of precipitation expected this time of year.

While the Maltese Islands at typically struck by an average of two thunderstorms in March, the islands were spared this year, with no thunderstorms being recorded last month. However, two separate occurrences of fog were observed, surpassing the climatic norm of one foggy day. 

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March was not only drier, but also warmer than average, with the mean temperature standing at 15.8°C, which is 1.7°C warmer than the climatic norm. Easter Sunday, which this year fell on the 31st of March, offered a glimpse of summer, as the temperature peaked at 27.9°C. That being said, March of 2001 still holds the record for the highest temperature measured in the same month at 33.5°C. On the other hand, the coldest temperature of the last month dropped to 8.6°C on the 15th of March.

The beginning of spring also brought favourable weather, as the islands basked in 263.7 hours of sunshine, exceeding the climate norm for March by 38.9 hours. The brightest day was the 28th of March when 10.8 hours of sunshine were measured. Conversely, due to widespread dust suspension, the 26th of March witnessed the least sunlight, with just over an hour of sunshine recorded throughout the day. These conditions resulted from a low-pressure system extending from Western Europe to Algeria, causing strong winds on the Sahara Desert which extended to the Maltese Islands.

Throughout March, the average wind speed stood at 9.6 knots, aligning with the climatic norm. The strongest gust of wind, reaching 42 knots, occurred on the 4th of March, originating from the West Northwest.

 

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