Malta Weather and Climate

Malta Summer GharghurThe best times to visit Malta would be around May-June or October-November as it’s usually great sunny weather but not too hot in the days.

The climate on the Maltese Islands and very much influenced by the sea and can be compared to Sicily or the southern parts of Greece which are typical Mediterranean climate zones. People here can expect dry and hot summers, especially around August. The winters are short but can consist of a lot of rain and you’ll feel the humidity all year round.

The temperatures in Malta in winter usually never go under 10ºC but can feel much colder. The hottest parts of the summer see temperatures of around 35ºC at most. Winds can be strong, especially during the winter months of January and February.

In Detail: Malta Climate and Weather

The Maltese Islands, are a group of small, low islands aligned in a NW-SE direction and located in the central Mediterranean, occupy an area of approximately 315 km 2. The islands are estimated to be about 97 km from Sicily and 290 km from North Africa. The three inhabited islands that make constitute the entire Maltese archipelago are: Malta (245.8 km 2), Comino (2.8 km 2) and Gozo (67.2 km 2) together with a number of small uninhabited islets each less than 10 ha. Below is a detailed description of Malta weather and climate situation.

Malta’s Weather

Malta’s weather conditions are summarized below. If you have to visit Malta then this weather information below will be of much value to you throughout your stay there.

There are no harsh winds, snow, fog or frost over Malta, apart from a few very rare exceptions. Rain also falls only for very short periods approximately 530 mm annually. The rain period is usually January and February.

Malta only experiences two major seasons; the mild winter season and the dry summer season.

The average daily temperature during the winter season is 14 0 C. In summer, the average daily temperature is 23 0 C. However this temperature sometimes does rise up to about 32 C during the peak of summer which usually starts from mid July to mid September.

Malta’s Climate

The climatic conditions over Malta can be summarized as follows:

a) Annual and Seasonal Temperature variations over Malta

The average annual temperature ranges between 22 C and 24 C during the day and 16 C at night.
January is the coldest month with temperature ranging between 12 and 18 C during the day and 6 to 12 C at night.

August is the warmest month. Temperatures during this month range from 27 to 35 C during the day. At night the temperature range is between 19 and 24 C.

Summer seasons usually lasts for 8 months. It starts from mid-April and ends in November.
Amongst all European cities, Valletta, the capital city of Malta has the warmest winters which last for about 4 months with average temperature of about 15 C.

Malta experiences very rare large fluctuations in temperatures. Take note that Malta is also one of the few places in Europe which are generally green throughout the year.

The average annual sea surface temperature is 20 C (about 68 F). This temperature is considered the highest throughout Europe. In fact from the period between June and November, this average SST exceeds 22 0 C (about 72 F).

Malta experiences a total of approximately 3000 sunshine hours per year, a value that is considered one of the highest in the whole of Europe. For fact, during December Malta has more than double the total sunshine hours over London (37 hours to 160 hours respectively)

Generally the climate over Malta is typically the subtropical, Mediterranean climate with characteristic mild, wet winters and dry summers.

b) The regional climatological circulations over Malta.

Malta’s climate can be described in the context of the topography of the Mediterranean basin where the flow of the lower atmosphere into the basin occurs mainly through mountain gaps, except over the southern shores, east of Tunisia. Both Sicily and the Tunisian peninsula, together with the prevailing winds, come into play in the Central Mediterranean region. The surrounding sea also has a seasonal warming or cooling influence.

The transient North Africa’s low pressure systems produce potentially strong winds over the Central Mediterranean. Usually when these North Africa’s lows occur to the south of the Atlas Mountains, strong south-easterly winds are observed to occur over the Maltese islands resulting in high seas.

The presence of the surrounding water mass also shapes significantly the climate of Malta. The general weather is often cooler and more humid than what is usually experienced in inland areas of larger landmasses.

The high thermal capacity of the sea also reduces large fluctuations in the ambient temperature of the island. However, the presence of surrounding warm waters during the end of summer seasons is also a source of major weather instability when colder air migrates towards the Central Mediterranean and in the process creating areas with heavy thunderstorms and intense precipitation.

The Malta region and the Central Mediterranean as a whole often experience advancing continental tropical air especially after a cold spell. This is believed to give rise to active warm fronts, accompanied by very active cumulonimbus clouds, copious rainfall and thunderstorms over Malta. This autumnal invasion of cold air is often followed by a period known as “sirocco” which usually lasts for a number of days.

c) Annual and Seasonal Rainfall over Malta

The average annual precipitation over Malta is 530 mm. Rainfall is highly variable from year to year. However, some years are extremely wet while others are extremely dry (i.e. it has an alternative extreme maximum and extreme minimum precipitation.

The seasonal distribution of rainfall defines a wet period (October to March). This wet period accounts for about 85 percent of the total annual rainfall. The dry period starts in April until September.

Malta Sunset

Overall Malta offers very enjoyable weather

It is the warm and inviting Malta weather and climate conditions that has made the Maltese Island an important tourist resort in the center of the Mediterranean Sea.

The perfect time to visit Malta is during the spring and autumn months because during these months, the weather is at its best. If you have to visit Malta during the winter period, that is, from November to April then it will be advisable for you to pack some warm clothes including a thick jacket since during this period, Malta is freezingly very cold especially at night.

If you are planning to visit during the summer months (summer months start from May to October), then you do not need to carry with you any thick clothes, but you can just get yourself a light jacket as it sometimes gets a little chilly especially in the mornings and evenings.

If you are planning to visit Malta during the peak summer months, (from early July to mid September), it would be necessary to carry your bathing suit. Shorts and sleeveless tops will be the best for you as this period is characterized by intense heating and a scorching sunshine.

Do not forget to pack a few pairs of descent clothes just in case you will need to visit areas such as the church.