Malta is heading for yet another heatwave at the start of next week, hot off the heels of another prolonged period of high temperatures. 

A spokesperson for the Malta Meteorological Office told Times of Malta that the country is likely to once again experience a heatwave from Tuesday, with the heat stress index causing the temperature to feel as high as 39°C, 40°C and 41°C. 

Temperatures are forecast to soar to 38°C on Tuesday and reach a peak of 40°C on Wednesday, coming down to 37°C on Thursday and 34°C on Friday. 

Last week, as people headed to beaches and air-conditioned public spaces to beat the heat, temperatures hovered at 39°C in the shade. 

The spokesperson said that atmospheric conditions around Malta had not changed in the slightest, with an area of high pressure remaining concentrated over the central Mediterranean, as well as hot winds blowing up from North Africa had contributed to the persistently excessive bouts of heat. 

A heatwave is experienced when the mean monthly maximum temperature is exceeded by at least 5°C for three or more consecutive days.

The mean maximum temperature for August is 31.7°C, the Met Office said. 

The hottest August day ever recorded in Malta was 43.8˚C in August 1999. That was also the highest temperature on record in the country.

Hot, hot hotter: the weather forecast for the next seven days. Image: Malta International AirportHot, hot hotter: the weather forecast for the next seven days. Image: Malta International Airport

Third heatwave of summer 2021

This would be the third heatwave Malta is experiencing this summer, after temperatures started to turn up between the end of June and the beginning of July. 

A period of high temperatures in June peaked at 41.5°C - the hottest June day on record. That turned out to be the longest June heatwave in a decade, technically coming to an end on July 2.

But the capacity of beaches is not the only thing the heat is testing, as increased demand for power caused multiple faults in the electricity distribution network and saw power cuts in several towns and villages across Malta. 

Residents in localities such as Marsascala reported going over 17 hours without electricity between Wednesday and Thursday, with some resorting to spending a night at a hotel and irate restaurant owners fuming at being unable to open for business. 

Independent journalism costs money. Support Times of Malta for the price of a coffee.

Support Us