UNCHARACTERISTIC MAY WEATHER: HOTTER, WINDIER, AND WETTER THAN EXPECTED

  • At 20.1°C , May’s average air temperature was higher than the norm
  • 12.2mm of rainfall were recorded, making May wetter than usual
  • Two occurrences of blood rain caused by sand blown over from the Sahara desert

May was the fifth consecutive month this year to experience air temperatures that were higher than expected by varying degrees. However, these temperatures were not complemented by typical spring weather, as May was wetter, duller, and windier than usual.

Stronger winds – blowing at an average of 10.7 knots when compared to the climate norm of 8.6 knots – whipped up dust particles, which remained suspended in the air causing low visibility on the 10th and 11th of the month. The poor visibility on these two days was exacerbated by fog occurrences.

Low visibility apart, on the 11th, the highest temperature for the month and thunder were recorded. The temperature of 29.8°C fell 5.5°C short of breaking the highest temperature on record for this month, which was registered back in 2006. Weekend maximum temperatures started at 18.4°C and clambered up to 28.9°C by the last weekend, much to the delight of many students who finished their A-Levels towards the end of May.

A higher than usual mean cloud cover of 3.6 oktas impacted the total hours of sunshine recorded in May, with the month enjoying 59 hours of sunshine less than the same time last year. The first Saturday of the month was particularly bleak, with the sun not making an appearance and 4.4mm of rainfall recorded.

This was one of the six instances when rain was recorded during the month, with total rainfall finally amounting to 12.2mm. Three of these instances coincided with the weekend, dampening the plans of many couples who had booked an outdoor wedding.

South-westerly winds blowing sand to the Maltese islands from over the Sahara Desert led to two occurrences of blood rain on the 1st and 5th of the month.

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