(Adds Meteo Malta statement)

Low humidity is making today somewhat more bearable as the heat is felt less even though the temperature is hovering around 41 degrees celcius.

Met Office weather forecaster Svetlana Caruana said that since today was a dry day with humidity being only 13 percent, one felt the heat less. A wind speed of 10 to 15 knots is also helping matters.

The highest temperature recorded in Malta for this month was 42.7 degrees in 1988. The current mean is 32.2 degrees.

Temperatures are expected to cool in the coming days.

In a statement, Meteo Malta said that today was the warmest July day at Balzan in 11 years when the maximum temperature had soared to 39.9°C on July 2, 1998. Today's maximum temperature at Balzan was of 39.2°C. However, other places in Malta had even higher maximum temperatures today, such as Zejtun with 41°C.

It said that today's high temperature was due to an advancing high pressure system moving in from Africa carrying very high temperatures from the African continent. Besides, the high pressure causes the air in the atmosphere to sink thus compressing it and raising the temperature even higher.

Another factor in this combination of high temperatures is that the wind remained strong enough from the NW to prevent the sea breeze from forming. This meant that temperatures could not cool down and also meant that the southeastern part of Malta ended up very hot since the air had to pass over most of Malta and got heated on the way.

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