Sea almost 3°C warmer than the norm in July

July was another hotter-than-average summer month, data released by the Met Office shows

The sea was warmer than average in July, surpassing also the expected average for August
The sea was warmer than average in July, surpassing also the expected average for August

If the sea felt warmer than usual in July it is because the surface temperature was almost 3°C higher than the norm for the month.

At 27.9°C, the mean sea surface temperature for July was 2.7°C warmer than normal and also surpassed the expected mean temperature for August by 1.2°C.

The figures released by the Meteorological Office at Malta International Airport confirm that the sea around Malta is getting progressively warmer.

Earlier this month, the Oceanography Marine Research Group within the Department of Geosciences of the University of Malta warned that the landmark temperature of 30°C in surface waters was being reached earlier in summer. This temperature was reached on the last day of July this year amid growing concerns this is having on native marine communities.

Hotter-than-average month

The Met Office data shows that July was another hotter-than-average summer month, with the mean air temperature exceeding the climate norm of 26.9°C by 1.7°C.

July’s maximum temperature peaked at 38.8°C on the second day, while the lowest temperature was recorded on the twelfth day at 21.3°C.

The Met Office said 378.5 hours of sunshine brightened the second month of the meteorological summer, with 16 July clocking a maximum of 13.4 sunshine hours. At 0.6 oktas, the mean cloud cover for July was slightly lower than the expected 0.8 oktas.

But July was also slightly wetter than the norm with 0.2mm of rain measured in Luqa.

The month was calmer than the norm, maintaining an average wind speed of 5.9 knots rather than the expected 6.9 knots. The maximum gust for the month was recorded on 8 July at 34 knots, blowing from the Northwest by West. 

Weather outlook

Between Wednesday 10 August and Friday 12 August Malta was hit by showers, which were locally thundery, gusty and heavy at times. The Met Office said such weather was expected at this time of year.

The Met Office is forecasting generally fine weather from Saturday through to Thursday. Malta is set to experience temperatures that are higher than the August climate norm of 32°C in the coming days, with the temperature expected to peak at 36°C on Wednesday 17 August.