Malta heats up: temperatures top 30°C from next week


UV index set to hit 10 from Saturday!

Malta is hotting up as temperatures in the country look set to hit a high of 33°C by Wednesday, according to a forecast from the Meteorological Office.

From Friday, temperatures are expected to gradually increase, rising to 29°C over the weekend and continuing to increase throughout next week, coupled with calm winds and little cloud cover.

"Over the next few days, the weather will be sunny, with very light wind starting from Sunday," a spokesperson for the Met Office said.

"The maximum temperatures will be higher than the mean as of next week," she said, noting that the mean temperature for June is 28.8°C.

The mean temperatures in the summer months are 31.7°C for July, 32.0°C in August and 28.6°C in September, they said.

The higher temperatures will be accompanied by a high-pressure area expected to develop over Italy and the Central Mediterranean.

"We are not experiencing weather that is hotter than usual for this time of year. Today's and tomorrow's maximum temperatures are expected to be 27°C and 29°C respectively, which are below and pretty much in line with the mean maximum temperature for June of 28.8°C.

"Warmer temperatures are expected next week as the air temperature will start to surpass the 30°C mark," she said.

The strong winds experienced over the last few days are set to reduce after the weekend, climbing down from around force five to hovering between force two and three next week.

Despite the improved forecast, the summer is expected to bring with it some unstable periods, characterised by strong winds, a temporary dip in air temperature and the possibility of showers.

Such periods are "not that uncommon" in the summer months, the Met Office said on Friday, noting that "in 15 of the past 30 years, we had at least one day with a thunderstorm between July and August."

"In 20 of the last 30 years, we had at least 1 day with precipitation during the same months," they said.

Such conditions are associated with the presence of anticyclones – weather phenomena synonymous with summer in the Mediterranean made up of large circulations of winds around a region of high atmospheric pressure.

With a UV index of 10 expected by Saturday, those venturing outside are advised to wear UV-blocking sunglasses, sunscreen, a hat and protective clothing.

The UV index is graded on a scale of one to 11, with 11 being the highest. A score between 8 to 10 is rated as "very high," according to the World Health Organisation (WHO).

Conditions at sea are expected to remain calm over the weekend, ranging from "slight" to "slight to moderate," according to Met Office predictions.

The improved forecast should come as good news for the country's farmers, who suffered crop damage due to a wetter-than-usual spring.

The most humid May in a decade, last month's wet conditions are credited with causing an explosion of mould, causing damage to tomatoes, onions and grapes in particular.

June also had a damp start, so far recording an average relative humidity of 77%, exceeding the climate norm of 67%, the Met Office said earlier this week. 

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