Updated at 4.20pm
North-easterly winds reaching speeds of up to 48 knots are expected to howl across Malta on Sunday, in what promises to be a wet and windy weekend.
Poor weather is expected to begin on Saturday with a series of isolated showers and gradually increasing northern winds, which will rise from force 5 to force 6 as the day turns to night.
Those conditions are set to worsen considerably come Sunday, with showers turning to thunder and the winds rising to force 9, according to the Meteorological Office.
Force 9 on the Beaufort Scale is reserved for strong or severe gales, with winds of up to 47 knots (87km/h) and high waves.
Weather forecasting site WindFinder – a favourite of mariners and windsurfers – predicts 44 knot winds with gusts of up to 49 knots on Sunday morning.
An MIA representative told Times of Malta that winds would veer east-northeast and decrease slightly, to force 6 or 7, as the day progressed. Seas are expected to be very rough.
The gale force winds will be accompanied by some chilly temperatures, with the mercury expected to dip to 6 degrees Celsius on Saturday night, according to the Malta International Airport weather station.
Malta marathon 'definitely happening'
Poor weather will not however disrupt Malta Marathon plans. Thousands of runners are expected to line up in Mdina on Sunday morning to take part in the annual race, and storm clouds will not stop them, an organiser told Times of Malta.
“The race is on, it will happen come what may,” they said.
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