Weather Averages for Malta in January
Averages for Malta in January
Malta is an island in the Mediterranean Sea, to the south of Italy, where the two main languages spoken are English and Maltese. Malta has become an increasingly popular holiday resort in recent years, boasting a wide range of attractions and reliably lovely weather and hot dry sunny summers.
Malta has a subtropical Mediterranean climate, with warm and moist winters, and hot dry sunny summers. Due to the moderation from the surrounding seas, large fluctuations in temperature are rare. Malta has a narrower range of daylight hours than over northern parts of Europe, with a mean of 10 hours of daylight during December and January, rising to just over 14 in June and July. It is a relatively windy location due to its position in the middle of the sea, and the sinoco wind occasionally delivers hot, dry and dusty conditions up from northern Africa, particularly during spring and autumn in association with depressions moving along the Mediterranean Sea.
Temperatures are mild during the winter months, while the summer months are generally hot. At Luqa Airport, the average maximum temperature ranges from 15°C in January to 31°C in July and August, while the average minimum ranges from 9°C in January to 21°C in July and August. Frosts are very rare, even in inland parts of the island, and the only widespread air frost (minimum temperature below 0°C) since instrumental records began was early on the 1st February 1962. The summer months occasionally become excessively hot, when the winds pull hot air up from mainland Africa, and the highest maximum temperature recorded is 43.8°C at Luqa Airport during August 1999.
Precipitation shows considerable seasonal variation in Malta. The period October to January is generally wettest, with December tending to be the wettest month of all, though there is considerable variation from one month to the next- if low pressure systems track further north than usual then there are often prolonged fine spells, whereas if lows track south, then it can be very wet at times.
In contrast the period May to September is usually very dry with a mean of less than 5mm of rain per month. The mean annual rainfall total is around 550mm, which is on a par with the driest parts of Greater London, Cambridgeshire and Essex, but when it rains the rain tends to be heavier and over with more quickly than in north-western Europe.
Sunshine is far more reliable in Malta than in northern parts of Europe, even in the wet winter months. The mean annual sunshine total at Lupa Airport is just short of 3,000 hours, compared with a mean near 1,500 hours over most parts of England. Sunshine totals average 155-160 hours during December and January (a mean of five hours per day) and rise to over 350 hours (between 11 and 12 hours per day) during July.
Malta has a moderately humid climate thanks to the surrounding seas, with average relative humidity of 79% during the winter months, falling to 69% in mid-summer, though the humidity is low compared with most tropical resorts. The rain of the winter months is sometimes thundery, with a mean of 5 or 6 days per month with thunder during winter, but thunder is very rare during the dry summer months.
The mean sea temperature varies between 16°C in late winter and early spring, with a minimum in February and March, and 26°C during August, which makes diving and snorkelling attractive during summer and early to mid autumn.
January is usually the coldest month of the year in Malta, but compared to the rest of Europe, it’s quite mild and frost-free. At this time of the year, the average temperature stays constant at 12.5°C throughout the month. Daily highs and daily lows follow the same pattern, staying constant at 15°C and 10°C, respectively.
Since 1987, the highest maximum temperature which has ever been recorded in Malta in January is 22.2°C which occurred in 1988. On the other hand, the lowest minimum temperature which has ever been recorded on the island during this month is 6.2°C which was recorded in 2002.
The average sea temperature for Malta in January is around 16°C, which is generally considered too cold to go swimming. If you’re determined to go for a dip during your holiday, you’re best off sticking to indoor and heated swimming pools.
Malta receives an average of 93mm of rainfall in January, which is usually spread across 17 rainy days. With rain falling on more than ½ of the month, there is a good chance you’ll experience a shower or two during your holiday, so make sure you pack an umbrella or some waterproof clothing. The most common type of precipitation you can expect in Malta in January is moderate rain, followed by thunderstorms then light rain.
The likelihood of precipitation falling at any point in Malta during March falls as the month develops. Rainfall is most likely on January 1st, when it occurs in 57% of days. On the other hand, precipitation is least likely to occur on January 31st, when it falls on 54% of days.
The rainy spells in Malta tend to be quite heavy and usually a lot shorter than in most of northern and central Europe. The precipitation in one January is rarely the same as the next – if low pressure systems track further south than usual, the weather can end up very wet, but if the pressure systems follow their usual patterns, January can end up being quite dry.
The highest monthly rainfall ever to occur on the island in January since 1985 is 232.4mm, which fell in 2006. Three years later in 2009, Malta was subject to 25 rainy days in one month, making it the wettest January in almost three decades. The highest amount of precipitation ever to fall within a 24-hour period in Malta in January is 123.5mm, which occurred in 1998.
Malta enjoys an average of seven hours of sunshine each day during January, which is much more than in most other parts of northern and central Europe. Over the course of January, the length of the day is gradually increasing. Between January 1st and January 31st the day lengthens by 37 minutes. The shortest day of the month is January 1st with nine hours at 47 minutes of daylight and the longest day of the month is January 31st with ten hours and 24 minutes of daylight.
The average daily relative humidity for Malta in January is 77%, which is quite high. This average humidity is created by lows of 61% (mildly humid) and highs of 94% (very humid). The air is usually at its driest around January 1st, when the relative humidity is 69%, whereas the air tends to be at its most humid around January 17th, when it rises above 90% three days out of every four.
The average cloud coverage on an average day in Malta in January is 51% - that’s partly cloudy. This figure slowly decreases as the month develops, dropping from 52% down to 51%.
Over the course of an average January in Malta, typical wind speeds fluctuate between 1 m/s and 8 m/s – light air to moderate breeze. At this time of year, wind speeds almost never exceed 12 m/s – strong breeze. The highest average wind speed of 5 m/s (gentle breeze) usually happens around January 30th, when the average daily maximum wind speed is 8 m/s. On the other hand, the lowest average wind speed of 4 m/s tends to occur around January 9th, when the average daily maximum wind speed is 7 m/s. Since 1997, the highest wind gust ever recorded in Malta in March is 40 knots, which was registered in 2014.
Serious weather hazards are rare in Malta, but they do crop up every now and then. On January 15th 2013, a damaging hailstorm affected much of northern and eastern Malta, causing damage to cars and solar heaters. Snow has been observed on rare occasions in January, most recently on January 31st in 1962 and previously in 1858 and 1905.
Dates for the diary
January is generally a quiet time in Malta, with very little in the way of events and festivals. January 1st is New Year’s Day – a public holiday celebrated all across the island. Almost all shops, supermarkets and banks will be closed on this day, as families spend quality time together.
Malta hosts the Feast of St Anthony the Abbot in Rabat each year on January 13th, at St. Mark’s Church. Visitors are encouraged to bring their own pets for them to be blessed by a local bishop or other important religious figure. The blessing of the animals is preceded by a procession which ends at the church.
Religious Festival - The Feast of the conversion of St. Paul, Malta.
Things to do
Malta boasts a number of attractive museums which cater for a wide range of tastes. The Malta Classic Car Collection Museum at Tourists Street, Qawra is recommended for car enthusiasts and may appeal to some non-car enthusiasts, too. It’s made up of several exhibitions with numerous ancient cars and motorbikes. The museum makes an effort to keep the cars in good condition, rather than allowing them to turn rusty and in poor repair. There are other old gadgets on display, too, including radios and cameras. There is also a souvenir shop and kiosks where you can buy food and drinks.
Fort Rinella at St.Rocco Road, Kalkara was originally a war machine with a 100-tonne gun which could send a one-tonne shell a distance of approximately eight miles, with the aim of taking down nearby ships. It was used as a defence against the threat of the likes of Britain and Italy taking control of the island. Fort Rinella is now a museum, with many exhibits showing displays of how the site was previously used, together with guided explanations from operators.
The Lascaris War Rooms at Valletta are a series of underground tunnels and chambers which previously housed the War Headquarters, from which defence operations were organised in Malta during WW2. There are some insightful guides available.
Malta 5D at Old Bakery Street provides cinematic run-throughs of historic events and landmarks in Malta, using 3D views of the city and the Malta area. Malta 5D is open from 9:30am to 4pm on Mondays to Saturdays and from 10am until 2pm on Sundays and public holidays.
Where to eat and drink
Malta has load of superb pubs, bars and restaurants to choose from. The Cosy Corner at Triq it-Turisti, Qawra is a good Italian restaurant and the pizzas come highly recommended.
Another good pub experience can be had at the Scotsman Pub at St. George's Road, Paceville. This pub has regular karaoke nights and serves traditional pub food, which can enjoyed before a quick game of pool or darts.
Hit the beach
Malta is a small island and doesn’t have many beaches, but nevertheless, there are some that are worth considering. The main problem with spending a day at the beach during this month is that the weather is often unreliable in January. Paradise Bay in the far north of Malta, close to the Gozo Ferry, is a very high-rated family-friendly beach, which contains many good facilities and smooth sands which are ideal for young children.
For a secluded option, consider the Ghajin Tuffieha. This beach is situated within a 15 minute bus journey of St Paul’s Bay and is bordered by plenty of greenery. The only downside is that to access the beach, you have to navigate down a series of steep steps. The challenging journey is definitely worth it for the chance to relax in peace and quiet when you arrive.
Where to stay
There are many good accommodation options to choose from in Malta. Those after a luxury stay can consider the Hilton Malta at Portomaso, Saint Julian's, which has particularly good on-site restaurants and also serves top quality buffet breakfasts.
The George Hotel offers 4-star accommodation and fantastic spa facilities. It’s located at Triq Paceville Avenue, Saint Julian's in the vibrant centre of Paceville, making it an ideal centre for those who fancy going clubbing or indulging in musical entertainment.
Those on a limited budget can consider the Soreda Hotel at Andrew Cunningham Street, Qawra, which is well-placed for access to the entertainment at Bugibba.
Self-catering options in Malta are numerous and varied, and include Old Theatre Lane at Valletta, which has excellent views over the sea.