Following a drier-than-average start to the new precipitation year in September, October became the driest month on the Meteorological Office’s records, Malta International Airport said in a statement Saturday.
With only 0.2mm of precipitation measured throughout the month, last October was significantly drier than the monthly norm of 77.6mm.
These dry conditions were accompanied by unseasonably warm temperatures, as a stagnant slack area of high pressure was stationed over the Mediterranean. Stable weather conditions ensued, while the already warm temperatures continued to rise as winds from over the Sahara blew towards the islands. As a result, October registered a mean air temperature of 23.9°C; 2.2°C higher than the monthly norm.
While the highest recorded temperature in October reached 31.7°C on the 18th of the month, the warmest October day remains the 27th of October in 1999, when a maximum temperature of 34.5°C was recorded. On the other hand, the lowest temperature for the month dropped to 17.8°C on the 15th day. At 25.7°C, the mean sea surface temperature registered last October also exceeded the climate norm of 24°C.
The month’s high temperatures were accompanied by 259.3 hours of bright sunshine. This means that the islands enjoyed an additional 41.6 hours of sunshine when compared to the monthly norm of 217.7 hours. The brightest days were the 9th and 14th of October with 10.2 hours of bright sunshine, while the 25th of October became the month’s dullest day after 0 hours of sunshine were recorded. The mean cloud cover of 1.8 oktas was also lower than the norm of 3.7 oktas.
October maintained a lower-than-average mean wind speed of 6.5 knots; 0.9 knots less than the climate norm. The maximum gust of 29 knots was recorded on October 20th, blowing from a South by West direction.