December was one of the warmest on record
December was the second warmest on record at Balzan with a mean monthly temperature of 16°C.
MeteoMalta said that hte warmest ever December since temperature records started being taken at Balzan in 1987 was of 16.2°C in 1989.
The temperature was especially warm in the last 10 days when it was regularly over 20°C with Christmas Day being the warmest day of the month with a maximum temperature of 24.1°C.
This was not, however, the warmest December day ever because the record is still held by December 8, 1987 with a high of 24.9°C.
The warm temperatures over the last 10 days of the month can be attributed to warm southerly or southwesterly winds bringing hot African air over the central Mediterranean.
Nights were particularly warm with the mean monthly minimum temperature for December of 13.8°C being the highest ever for December. The warmest night, with a minimum of 19.9°C on Christmas Day, was also the highest ever on record for December. The lowest minimum temperature was 8.5°C on the 13.
December 2009 was also dry with less than half the average amount of rainfall. Only 49.8mm of rainfall were measured compared to the average 110.9mm. This was the third driest December on record since rainfall records began in 1985. The driest December was in 1987 with only 23.6mm of rainfall.
There were 12 days of rain compared to the average 15 but these were mostly light or moderate rainfall amounts. The heaviest 24-hour rainfall was of only 11 mm on December 12. There were four days when thunder was heard and three when hail was observed.
The average wind speed at Zebbug, Malta was 19.5 km per hour and the most frequent direction was west. The highest gust reached 74 km per hour on the 5th while at Mellieha the highest gust was of 96.2 km per hour on the same day.