Malta: Moving On, Up & Away

Weather in Malta: Explained

I saw a thread recently on an expat forum- the one I moaned about a while back because it’s become so negative- that I thought needed some discussion. I popped back to see if things had lightened up (they hadn’t) and I decided to dedicate a whole post to the subject- Weather in Malta. This is not a scientific explanation of the climate (you can find that here) but a real life description of what the seasons are like to live in.

In Malta there is only really two seasons, Summer and Winter.

Temperature (source WIKI)

The average annual temperature is 18–19 °C (64–66 °F) (one of the highest results in Europe): around 22 °C (72 °F) during the day and 15 °C (59 °F) at night. In the coldest month – January – the temperature ranges from 12 to 20 °C (54 to 68 °F) during the day and 7 to 15 °C (45 to 59 °F) at night. In the warmest month – August – the temperature ranges from 28 to 34 °C (82 to 93 °F) during the day and 19 to 24 °C (66 to 75 °F) at night.

Summer

Summer in Malta is like marmite, you either love it or hate it. It is HOT. Bastard hot. It gets incredibly humid and 30+ degrees is hot anyway but it usually feels much hotter, more around the 40+ mark. There’s rarely any breeze, it feels like there is no air, breathing is difficult and just 30 seconds from walking out your front door you will be soaked in sweat. The nights offer no relief what so ever, unlike many other warm countries that cool down in the evenings. This real intense heat lasts mainly from July to September but the weather is hot from about April all the way through to November.

Winter

Winter does not last long in Malta and the temperatures are very mild but the physical feel is really quite cold. From January to March it’s chilly. The temperatures range from about 10-20 but on the colder days, particularly in January, it can feel anything down to 0°C (32°F). So it can feel really quite cold in January, especially after the heat of the Summer months, it’s a big shock. The Winter can also be really quite windy, sometimes I don’t even feel safe leaving the apartment as I’m very small and have been physically blown in directions I didn’t want to go, and even when it’s just a breeze, its biting and will really numb your ears and nose!

There is no central heating in Malta and the buildings are not well insulated because of the long, hot Summer. They’re built to be more bearable during those months. It means that in Winter the apartments are often colder inside than outside. You will need some kind of heat (most aircon units have a heat setting, or you can buy a gas heater) but electricity is expensive here so it’s a good idea to get slippers, a thick dressing gown and a blanket for those colder evenings on the sofa.

Something that was mentioned, by people who come from much colder countries (e.g Poland, Sweden), is that it sounds warm enough to swim all year round. Don’t be fooled by the temperatures though. What I’m mainly trying to tell you is just because it may be 15°C in January does not mean you can go swimming. The sea temperature right this second is 14.9°C and that is COLD. The sea honestly feels like ICE from November – May. I certainly never get in the sea before mid June. Although the weather feels warm, the ocean does not!

Of course there are lunatics who swim all year round (excluding days where the gale winds cause rough seas) but they are mainly wearing full body wet suits, are properly trained and slightly insane. As a normal human I would swim from around June through to October. Anything after that and the sea really is too cold to be comfortable. I have swum in April (back in 2010 on my first visit here) before. The weather was glorious and I jumped straight in. And it was like having some kind of electric shock. My whole body jolted with the cold, for a few seconds I couldn’t breath because it felt like my insides had frozen stiff!

It’s the Winter evenings that get chilly really, the wind can pick up and without the sun to heat your face the temperature really drops. However the days in ‘Winter’ are generally quite nice. It’s sunny all year round, we get the odd storm but black clouds never last long. It’s always lovely and warm when you’re standing in the sunshine, and out of the wind. Today is pretty windy but when I was sheltered from the breeze and standing in the sunshine it felt like it could be Summer!

So if you’re considering a move or holiday to Malta I hope this has given you some insight into what the weather is really like.

0 Comments

  1. Colin

    “I’m very small and have been physically blown in directions I didn’t want to go”
    I know that has to be unpleasant, but the mental image made me seriously LOL. Very funny writing.

    Reply
    1. Harri

      haha glad you enjoyed it :) I’m sure its funny to watch too when i’m zigzagging up the road trying to keep straight and keep hold of my bag/hat/dignity!

      Reply
  2. cypruslifeinpictures

    I know the feeling about expat forums and the weather….. Very similar experiences here in Cyprus too on both counts!
    Like Malta, in winter Cyprus is warmer outdoors than inside for the same reasons – a total lack of insulation. But today we managed to spend some time on a sunbed at the hotel where my parents are staying, albeit a bit battered by the wind. I think we have a Coptic wind about at the moment. Yesterday we managed a stroll up the seafront by the Old Town of Limassol and I captured some stunning colours in the photographs I took.
    You can see my post about that here: http://wp.me/p1uja5-1QG

    Reply

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