Strong Winds Expected to Gust Through Malta Until Friday

Malta braces for strong winds, gale force gusts up to 9, as low-pressure trough brings weather instability. Warmer, drier March 2024 highlights climate change impacts in the region.

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Mazhar Abbas
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Strong Winds Expected to Gust Through Malta Until Friday

Strong Winds Expected to Gust Through Malta Until Friday

The Malta Meteorological Office has issued a yellow weather warning due to the strong winds expected to gust through Malta on Tuesday. The East to Southeast wind will be strong to very strong at times over the exposed areas of the island, with the warning valid until 9 am. The winds are expected to reach gale force 8 and even gale force 9 at times.

The weather on Tuesday is expected to be cloudy with isolated showers and the possibility of thunder, as well as gusts. Temperatures are set to reach a high of 21°C and a low of 15°C with a UV index of 7. The Maltese Meteorological Office (MET Office) has forecasted windy weather for the coming week, with strong winds expected to persist until Friday.

The current East-Southeast winds are expected to change to Northwest winds overnight, which will continue until at least Friday. The strongest wind force is predicted to reach Force 6 to 7, especially over exposed areas, on Wednesday. Between Wednesday and Friday, the wind is expected to reach Force 5-6, with a peak of Force 7 on Wednesday.

Over the weekend, temperatures are forecasted to reach 20°C, with lighter winds of up to Force 3. The warmer weather in April is attributed to a ridge of high pressure over the Atlantic extending towards the central Mediterranean and Libya, which has kept most of western Europe under high pressure. The instability in the weather is caused by a trough of low pressure expanding from Libya towards the central Mediterranean.

Visibility is expected to increase due to less particulate matter in the air as the wind direction changes. The Maltese Islands are expected to experience strong winds this week, with the Met Office predicting sustained Force 5 and 6 winds until Friday. The warmer temperatures in April are attributed to a high-pressure ridge stretching from the Atlantic to the central Mediterranean and Libya, affecting much of Western Europe, including Malta.

Tomorrow's peak temperature is expected to reach 21°C, slightly cooler than last week, due to a low-pressure trough expanding from Libya towards the central Mediterranean. Improved visibility is anticipated as particulate matter levels decrease, coinciding with a shift from East-Southeast to Northwest winds overnight. The Northwest winds will persist until at least Friday, with Wednesday forecasted to experience the strongest gusts, reaching Force 6 to 7, particularly in exposed areas.

In March 2024, the Maltese Islands experienced below-average rainfall, with only 8.8mm recorded compared to the expected 39.7mm. There were no thunderstorms, but two occurrences of fog were observed, exceeding the climatic norm of one foggy day. The month was also warmer than average, with a mean temperature of 15.8°C, 1.7°C higher than the norm. Easter Sunday saw a temperature peak of 27.9°C, though the record high for March is 33.5°C.

The beginning of spring brought favorable weather, with 263.7 hours of sunshine, exceeding the climate norm by 38.9 hours. However, on the 26th of March, there was limited sunshine due to widespread particulate matter suspension caused by a low-pressure system extending from Western Europe to Algeria, resulting in strong winds from the West Northwest reaching up to 42 knots on the 4th of March.

March in Malta was significantly drier and warmer than average, with only 8.8mm of rain compared to the expected 39.7mm. The mean temperature was 1.7°C higher than the norm at 15.8°C, and the warmest day reached 27.9°C on Easter Sunday, though the record high of 33.5°C was set in 2001. While there were no thunderstorms, there were two episodes of fog, exceeding the usual one. Sunshine levels were high, with 263.7 hours recorded, 38.9 hours above the norm. The weather was influenced by a low-pressure system stretching from Western Europe to Algeria, bringing strong winds that reached a peak gust of 42 knots on March 4th.

Why this matters: The strong winds and weather instability in Malta this week may impact travel plans, outdoor activities, and maritime operations. The unseasonably warm temperatures and dry conditions in March 2024 also highlight the ongoing effects of climate change on the Mediterranean region.

The Malta Meteorological Office has advised residents and visitors to exercise caution when outdoors, especially in exposed areas, due to the strong winds expected to persist until Friday. The peak wind force is predicted to reach Force 6 to 7 on Wednesday, with sustained winds of Force 5-6 throughout the week. The weather instability is caused by a low-pressure trough expanding from Libya towards the central Mediterranean, while the warmer temperatures are attributed to a high-pressure ridge stretching from the Atlantic to the region.

Key Takeaways

  • Malta issued yellow weather warning due to strong winds up to gale force 9.
  • Windy weather expected until Friday, with peak gusts of Force 6-7 on Wednesday.
  • March 2024 in Malta was significantly drier and warmer than average.
  • Warm temperatures and dry conditions linked to climate change effects in the region.
  • Strong winds may impact travel, outdoor activities, and maritime operations in Malta.