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October thunders in to set new records

Stormiest month since 1951

More than 10 hours of sunshine and the month’s maximum temperature of 27.4˚C on the first day of October might have raised hopes that mild weather would linger a little longer.

However, October went on to become the stormiest month since 1951, Malta Airport's Meteorological Office said.

October air temperatures ranged between a pleasant highest maximum of 27.4˚C and a lowest minimum of 13.8˚C recorded on the last day of the month.

At 21.5˚C, the mean air temperature was equal to the 30-year climate norm for the month. On the other hand, the mean sea temperature was 1.4˚C higher than the norm of 23.5˚C.

While the first day of the month was the sunniest, the second was the wettest,  with only 4.4 hours of sunshine recorded. On that day, the islands were pelted by 43.8 mm of rain – around 23% of October’s total rainfall - resulting from a low-pressure system over Corsica which moved in a southerly direction.

The 189mm of rain collected last month heavily outpoured the 75.6mm of rain expected at this time of year.

However, this came nowhere near close to the extreme amount of 476.5mm of rain measured in October 1951. On the other hand, with 16 days of thunder, last month displaced October 1962 (12 days of thunder) as the stormiest October on record.

In spite of all this, the sun shone for 187.7 hours. Meteorological data show that only October 14, 18 and 31 did not enjoy any sunshine whatsoever.

On October 31, the islands also experienced thunderstorms and a prolonged period of precipitation, which dampened many a trick-or-treater’s plans.

Averaging at 7.8 knots, the wind speed was 0.6 knots higher than the norm. The month’s windiest day was October 21, on which a maximum gust of 37.5 knots blowing from a north by east direction was recorded.

Other meteorological observations include reports of dust from the Sahara Desert on October 28 and 29.

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