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No summer storms due next week, says Met Office

Reassures public that rumours incorrect

A summer storm is usually characterised by short, heavy showers towards the end of the summer season. Photo: Chris Sant Fournier

A summer storm is usually characterised by short, heavy showers towards the end of the summer season. Photo: Chris Sant Fournier

No storms are expected in the coming week, the Meteorological Office says, dispelling reports of imminent bad weather.

Based on the current forecast, there were no foreseen storms for the next seven days, a spokesman for Malta International Airport’s Met. Office said when asked whether any storm was likely following heatwave Lucifer.

There are two main factors that can trigger significant convective storms during summer around the Maltese islands: a warm sea and the intrusion of cold air from Europe

Summer storms normally occur due to prolonged high temperatures on the sea surface.

As opposed to the storms in September and October, which last longer, a summer storm is usually characterised by short, heavy showers towards the end of the summer season, the spokesman noted.

The international media reported that parts of Europe were hit by storms following the heatwave. At least four people were reported dead in northern Italy while heavy rain brought chaos in Austria and Russia’s far east.

When contacted, meteorologist and University lecturer Charles Galdies said such international news did not necessarily apply to the local level.

“The geographical set-up that influences our weather and climate is different from that of Austria, Russia or Cortina d’Ampezzo in Italy. One should be careful when interpreting such news,” Dr Galdies advised.

There are two main factors that can trigger significant convective storms during summer around the Maltese islands: a warm sea and the intrusion of cold air from Europe.

“This will destabilise the atmosphere in terms of its energy and lead to major storms,” he noted.

“These storms tend to be more vigorous during late summer and early autumn because of the fact that the sea has gained a lot of heat during the summer period.”

The intensity of the storms during this period depended on the difference between the colder air temperature coming from the north and the high sea surface temperature, among other things.

Hotter July

July air and sea temperatures were higher than the norm

July was characterised by air and sea temperatures that were higher than the climate norm, longer hours of sunshine and windier days, according to the Meteorological Office.

Standing at 27.7°C, the mean air temperature was 1.1°C higher than the norm while the mean sea temperature ex-ceeded the expected 24.7°C by 1.3°C.

On July 24 and 25, the sea temperature shot up to 27°C.

Luckily, this did not coincide with the month’s hottest day, July 13, when the mercury hit the 38.7°C mark. Although quite high, this temperature was 4°C lower than the highest July temperature on record, back in 1988.

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