The island of Malta is one of the warmest countries in Europe. It relishes a Mediterranean climate. With hot dry summers, mild wet winters and around 3,000 hours of sunshine. The surrounding sea influences its climate. Sea temperatures are the highest than in any other part of Europe.
Weather in Malta is pleasant during most times of the year. Throughout the year the average temperature is around 23°C during the day and 16°C at night. The coldest month is January. The warmest month is August. Summer weather in Malta can last up to 7 months. Starting as early as April and ending as late as October. Small variations in daylight hours occur between winter and summer. Daylight hours range from an average of 10 hours in winter to 15 hours in summer.
The average annual sea temperature stands at 20°C. Annual rainfall is low, at around 600mm. Most of this falls during storms in late autumn and winter. Average precipitation days amount to 90 days a year.
Winter Weather in Malta
Winter in Malta is mild compared to the cold winters in other European countries. The average temperature ranges between 12 to 15°C during daytime. Evenings are chiller with a temperature of around 6 to 12°C. Winter is the wettest time of the year. With the average monthly rainfall at 75mm. Throughout this time of the year the island receives around 5 hours of sunshine and 10 hours of daylight.
January and February are the coldest, windiest and wettest months. Yet, temperatures rarely fall into single figures. The island experiences high humidity. This makes the cold feel harsher than it actually is. Uncomfortable temperatures can be handled with by turning on air conditioners, electrical/gas heating and dehumidifiers. Winter days still have a good amount of sunshine and blue skies are still quite prevalent. There are still some warm and lovely sunny days but do not expect sunny days to be the norm. Throughout winter expect a couple of stormy days and exceptionally windy weather. Bad storms are rare, but not unheard of. Storms in winter can be intense but generally they do not last long.
March is when the Maltese winter starts to come to an end. This month is normally always quite warm. The sun is a welcome sight during March. Spring tends to start off mildly from around this time. It gradually becomes warmer over the next few weeks. Malta in March can be quite beautiful. The days start to get longer, sunnier and temperatures start to rise. Blue skies and bright sunshine are more common. Though weather is still expected to include days with rain showers, strong winds and low temperatures. Strong winds can still hit the island, but they often die down quickly. The weather in March can make up for some of the best time for outdoor walks, hikes, and even strolls to the beaches.
Spring Weather in Malta
Spring sees nice weather with low rainfall and comfortable warm temperatures. The weather is bright and sunny on most days. Daytime temperatures for this season range between 17 to 25°C. The average rainfall is about 14mm. The sea temperatures are cold at the beginning of the spring but comfortable to take a dip by May. The average sea temperature is about 18°C. The average daily sunshine hours in spring are around 10 hours. With the average daylight hours being of 14 hours.
Spring in Malta is one of the best seasons. It is the perfect balance between lovely sunshine that is not too hot. Refreshing breezes that are not too cold. The sun is strong enough to give a pleasant feeling of warmth. Evenings tend to bring with them a fresh cool breeze. Days are longer, sunnier and warmer. Spring days bring about a busier social life. Locals set out on picnics and dine outdoors. It is the time of the year when the countryside is at its greenest. The perfect time for hikes and strolls by the beautiful beaches.
Though it is common for spring to bring about pleasant warm weather, rain showers and strong winds are not unheard of. Though heavy rain showers and storms during this time of the year are unusual.
Towards the end of the season the weather can shift to summer heat instantly.
Summer Weather in Malta
Malta’s summers are very hot with sparse rain and occasional heatwaves. More often than not the sun is hot and scorching. June to September experience average daytime highs of around 28 to 34°C. Summer nights are marginally cooler. Especially when sea breezes prevail. The average temperature at night varies between 20 to 24°C. The high humidity prevailing on the island exacerbates weather conditions. It makes the days and nights feel hotter than actual by several degrees. Besides temperatures soar when hot sirocco winds blow in from Africa. These powerful and warm winds bring with them strong heat.
Summer is the sunniest season of the year, boasting very long days of strong sunshine. The sun starts beating down early in the day, and even after sunset, the air remains very warm. The average daylight hours stand at 13 hours. At the same time the average sunshine hours are of 11 hours.
Summer in Malta is a sunbather’s heaven with cloudless clear blue skies. From June right through October sea water temperatures average around 25°C. The Mediterranean sea is perfect for a refreshing swim. You can dive into the refreshing water to relief from the excessive heat.
August in Malta is usually the hottest month of the year. Some days can be uncomfortably hot. Frequent heatwaves hit the islands throughout this month. During which temperatures soar to the late 30°C sometimes going over 40°C.
During the summer period UV rays are also high. Local authorities encourage people to stay out of direct sunlight between the hours of 10:00 and 16:00. Keep well hydrated by drinking plenty of water and apply sunscreen. When going outdoors wear sunglasses and a hat. Walk and sit in the shade whenever possible.
The end of summer is still very warm but less than the preceding months. Temperatures tend to be more stable during September. Sea temperatures are still warm and swimming is still possible. Around this time, Malta will start getting the first storms and rain showers. Some days are hot and summery, others can bring thunder storms and heavy showers. Even so these usually don’t last long. While raining the weather cools down. But once the rain stops the air feels humid and sticky.
Autumn Weather in Malta
In Autumn the weather is still sunny and warm with occasional grey, wet days. A good number of days have a lovely, sunny warmth. Yet on the stormy or windy days temperatures get rather chilly. Bear in mind rainfall in Malta is different from other countries. Rain tends to come down in torrents, not drizzles, flooding low-lying areas.
The temperatures in autumn range between 17 to 23°C and the average rainfall is of 100mm. The average daily sunshine hours amount to 6 hours. Meaning that these months still see a significant amount of sunshine. Throughout autumn you will note different types of weather. With rapid changes in weather conditions. Some days are warm and sunny, others chilly and windy, some grey and rainy. Moreover, most of the rain falls as heavy precipitation over a short time span during thunderstorms. The evenings are cooler than those of the previous few months. Often with a fresh breeze picking up as the sun starts to set.
During October the sea is still warm and good for swimming. At an average temperature of 23°C. The Maltese countryside will start to flourish again. Owing to the more frequent rain showers and less scorching sunshine, making walks and hikes a lovely activity.
November is the month in which you might experience the first few cold days after the warm season. As is typical the sun still shines. Temperatures start to drop though it can still be rather warm. Evenings tend to be much cooler than the daylight hours. With cool breezes being rather a common phenomenon. Usually, early November is characterised with warm temperatures and pleasant sunshine. The weather starts to cool down from mid-month onwards. With certain days being uncharacteristically wet, windy, and cold. November is the wettest month with an average of 109mm of rain.
Towards the end of autumn the weather tends to be quite stable. Normally, December is not the coldest month of the year. It is rather mild with warm sunny days being the norm. Sunshine is a common occurrence around this time of year. Nonetheless, there’s no guarantee that this month will always be sunny. On rare occasions it has been bitterly cold with harsh winds, heavy rainfall, and at times even hail.
Seasonal Changes in Weather
Malta’s seasonal changes happen in a short space of time. Whereby spring and autumn do not last long. Winter changes to summer and vice versa within the stretch of a few weeks. With quick seasonal changes the weather can be unpredictable at times.
Particularly at the end of a long summer, usually around September or October, it’s not uncommon for sudden, heavy rainfall. This may cause issues on the roads in low lying areas. Because some of Malta’s towns and villages are heavily built, the natural flow of rainwater through the island’s valleys into the sea has been disrupted, resulting in floods. During autumn and winter Malta sometimes experiences heavy thunder and hail storms.
On the other end, summer sees occasional heatwaves. Although temperatures already tend to be high during summer. It is common during heatwaves to see temperatures soar into the 40+°C region, sometimes lasting for up to a week.
Wind affects Malta and the most common wind direction to hit the island is a cooler north-westerly wind. Another byproduct of hot summers in Malta is south wind. This weather condition is typical during the months of July through to September. When this occurs Malta finds itself shrouded in hot and humid air.
Historic Temperatures in Malta
The highest temperature reported in winter was in December 1987 at 24.9°C. Whilst the coldest temperature on record was in January 1981 at 1.4°C.
The highest temperature registered in spring was of 37.3°C in May 2006. While in March 1993 the temperature of 4.8°C was the lowest documented. During this period the highest monthly rainfall ever reported in Malta is 125mm in March 1995.
Year on year summer sees the highest temperatures and the most unbearable heatwaves. The hottest day on record is in August 1999 when temperature soared to 43.8°C.
The highest temperature documented in autumn is of 33.9°C this being in October 2013. That is 12.9°C higher than the average temperature for the season. The lowest temperature for this season was in November 1995 of 5.7°C being 11.3°C lower than the average.
The highest monthly rainfall on record was in November 1988. It reached an all time high of 280.53mm.