December brought snow pellets and record low temperatures

On 31 December, the temperature dropped to 2.8°C, the lowest on record for the month of December

New Year’s Eve saw the temperature drop to 2.8°C, the lowest December night temperature ever recorded on the islands, according to the Met Office. 

This also coincided with a rare form of precipitation, as snow pellets were reported in various parts of the islands on the last two days of the year.

The coldest night ever recorded remains 1.4°C recorded on 29 January, 1981.

Although the average air temperature for December was 14.9°C, which is 0.6°C higher than the norm, 31 December also brought the second coldest December day as temperatures dropped to 7.7°C, almost as cold as the 6.7°C that had been recorded back in 1923.

The highest temperature recorded last month was 22.9°C on 1 December.

In total, 150.3mm of precipitation were recorded, which is considerably higher than the climate norm of 104.8mm. The highest rainfall rate was 26.4mm/hr on 30 December.

In total, there were six days of thunderstorms: the 7th, 9th, 10th, 17th, 30th and 31st. The climate norm for thunderstorms in December is five days. 

Hail was reported on the 17th, 30th and 31st. This is higher than the norm of one day with hail in December. No fog was reported.

The average sea surface temperature was 19.1°C, which is 1.3°C higher than the climate norm of 17.8°C. The mean relative humidity was 3% lower than the climate norm of 78%.

Last month saw an average of 5.5 hours of bright sunshine a day, which is higher than the climate norm of 5 hours. In total, 170.7 hours of bright sunshine were recorded at Luqa Airport. The mean total cloud cover was 0.1 lower than the norm of 4.4 oktas.

The average wind speed recorded last month was 8.1 knots. The highest gust reached was 39 knots from the WSW direction and occurred on 28 December. The most frequent wind direction was the North westerly wind, but for 79% of the time, it was in the light speed bracket (1-10knots).

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