Climate Change in Malta

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An article from the Malta Resources Authority, published in 2012, but more than ever actual:

“The Maltese Archipelago (Malta, Gozo and Comino) covers a total land area of approximately 320 km2 and a 140 km coastline. Malta, which is the largest of the three islands, has an area of 245 km2 (and a coastline of approximately 100 km), while Gozo and Comino have an area of 67 km2 and 3 km2 respectively.

The climate of the Maltese Archipelago is typically Mediterranean, with distinct winter and summer season i.e. mild, rainy winters and dry, hot summers. High pressure conditions dominate during most of the time especially in the summer season. The mean monthly temperature for the summer season was 35°C over the past century. The hottest month is July with the highest monthly average temperature ever recorded being 36°C. It is not unusual for the temperature to exceed this value for short periods during the hottest month. Temperatures have never reached freezing point. The lowest monthly average temperature for the past century was 11°C, in the winter months (January and February). There were instances when air temperatures dropped below 11°C, but only for short periods of time. Exceptional extremes of 1.4°C and 43.8°C have been recorded. On average, for the past century, air temperature has tended to increase.

The sea temperature varies in conformity with the air temperature, with a yearly mean of 20°C. From September to April the mean sea temperature is higher than that of the air and lower from May to August.

Rainfall in the Maltese Islands is unpredictable and the rainfall pattern fluctuates; but the highest precipitation rates occur between November and February. The average annual precipitation stands at approximately 530 mm. During the past century, the average monthly rainfall was highest for December (approximately 94 mm) and lowest in July (practically no rain at all). On average, precipitation has decreased over the years. North‐westerly and north‐easterly winds are the most common and the strongest. The north‐easterly wind blows directly into the two main harbours on Malta, at times impeding marine operations. South‐westerly winds are less common but are generally hot and accompanied by desert dust from North Africa.” >>