The weather in Malta is one of the major reasons why people flock to the Maltese islands throughout the year, with its warm summers, mild winters and 3,000+ hours of sunshine.
No matter what kind of weather you’re used to back home, you’re likely to find the weather in Malta pleasant during most times of the year.
Quick weather facts
- Malta is one of the warmest countries in Europe
- Average annual temperature: 23 °C (73 °F) during the day and 16 °C (61 °F) at night
- Average annual sea temperature: 20 °C (68 °F) (highest in Europe)
- Average hours of sunshine per year: 3,000+
- Average annual precipitation: 600mm
- Coldest month: January (10 – 15 °C or 50 – 59 °F)
- Warmest month: August (22 – 31 °C or 71 – 87 °F)
- Quick seasonal changes: Spring and Autumn pass in a matter of weeks
- Summer weather can last up to 7 months, starting as early as April and ending as late as October
- Relatively small variations in daylight duration between winter and summer, meaning between 10 and 15 hours of daylight. Winter days are slightly longer and Summer days shorter than countries further up North.
Avg annual hours of sunshine
Avg annual temperature
Typical summer daytime temperature
Avg annual sea temperature
Malta weather conditions throughout the year
If you’re looking to travel to Malta during specific months of the year, this is what you can expect in terms of weather.
The below table shows you air and sea temperature averages during the year.
|Month||H. of sun||Rain in mm||Temp range||Sea Temp|
January and February
At the star of the year, January and February are usually the coldest and windiest months, with average temperatures of between 9 and 15 °C. Although you’ll usually have access to air conditioning (heat mode) or electrical/gas heating, humidity is toughest to deal with.
In terms of clothes, bring with you thinner clothes that you can layer, as well as a jacket. If you’re particularly sensitive to the cold and looking to be out and about during the evening, consider bringing along thermal wear to be safe – assuming the forecast is suggesting temperatures of below 10 °C.
On those days I myself wear thermal clothing on occasion and don’t feel cold very easily like some people do.
Bring along an umbrella: London-grade for when it’s windy at the same time.
March and April
The weather during this time of year usually tends to see temperatures rising a little, but mostly during the day, which means evenings can still be quite cold.
There’s a good chance temperatures and sunshine during the day means you’ll be comfortable out and about in a short-sleeved t-shirt or top, but you’ll want to bring along a sweater or hoodie and a jacket (no heavy duty skiing stuff) for during the evenings.
An umbrella might come in handy but you’ll definitely want a pair of sunglasses.
May and June
This is the time of year when winter weather can shift to summer mode in the span of a couple of weeks, so it’s more important than any other time of year to keep an eye on the weather forecast.
You’ll definitely want to bring along a mix of clothes to be prepared for sudden changes in temperatures, especially during the evening, although (heavy rainfall) is unlikely to occur.
This is the time of year during which I usually recommend people to visit Malta. Overall great weather and pleasant temperatures, warm enough to swim, and you avoid the super busy summer months as a bonus!
July and August
Peak summer means Malta is a sunbather’s heaven (and an Eskimo’s worst nightmare) when both clouds and precipitation are rare and temperatures are so high you’ll be picturing yourself soaking in an ice-cube cooled bath more often than not.
For both accommodation as well as car hire, you’ll be thankful you paid a little extra for air conditioning in the car and you won’t think twice about higher fuel consumption. Air conditioning is like internet and electricity itself in Malta: No one quite knows how humans ever coped without. Air conditioning is in such demand during summer in fact, that it’s not uncommon for peak electric loads to cause a blackout.
Most people enjoy the summer sun and heat of course, but people are advised to drink plenty of water, to stay out of the sun as much as possible between 11am and 4pm and wear adequate sun protection. A tan may be a sign of a great summer holiday but a nasty skin disease (not uncommon!) isn’t exactly the right souvenir to return home with. Be wise, not sorry!
For some reason, around the feast the Maltese refer to as Santa Marija (15th August), it’s not uncommon for some rain to fall. Don’t worry too much about umbrellas though, it’ll still be pretty hot so you dry up in no time. Some take the opportunity to go for a warm swim in the rain (if it’s not too windy, that is).
September and October
We’re getting to a time of the year where the shift towards cooler winter weather can happen pretty quickly, although usually high temperatures last until the end of October. In fact, you can still comfortably swim during this time of the year (and also get sun burnt).
It’s also a time when the weather can be unpredictable. One year nothing spectacular happens, the next there’s a tropical thunderstorm with heavy rainfall that floods most valleys and catches out drivers whose cars are dragged along with the flow. Be aware of the weather conditions and talk to the locals if you’re looking to go out and about.
Most of your clothing will be short-sleeved still but keep an eye on the forecast and bring along a few options in case temperatures drop.
November and December
Although November and December are usually not the coldest months of the year, temperatures can drop and occasionally it does rain. If you’re looking for a winter solace from the cold back home, you’re best off traveling to Malta now than in January or February.
Long-sleeved clothes and a jacket are a must, but your sunglasses will still come in handy for sure.
Seasonal changes and weather extremes
Generally speaking, Malta spring and autumn don’t last very long and winter changes to summer and vice versa within the stretch of a few weeks. With a relatively long summer, that probably sounds great for people living up North, but it’s not always ideal.
With seasonal changes that happen in a short space of time, the weather can be unpredictable at times. Particularly at the end of summer, usually around September or October, it’s not uncommon for sudden, heavy rainfall to cause issues on the roads in lower-lying areas of the islands, mostly on the island of Malta.
Because some of these areas are pretty heavily built up, the natural flow of rainwater through the island’s valleys into the sea has been disrupted, resulting in floods. In fact, when heavy rain is expected it’s advised to stay clear of low-lying areas to avoid danger. Having said that, it’s mostly cars that get damaged rather than freak floods causing injury or worse.
Although temperatures already tend to be high during summer (July – August), it’s not uncommon for heatwaves to see temperatures soar into the 40+ °C (104+ °F) region, sometimes lasting for up to a week. Dehydration is the most often occurring health issue during these times, so drink plenty of water.
Another byproduct of hot summers in Malta is what’s referred to by the locals as Rih Isfel (or South wind). Being an island nation, the country is easily affected by wind and the most common wind direction is a cooler North-Westerly wind.
When Rih Isfel occurs in summer, Malta finds itself shrouded in hot, humid (and often dusty – particularly great for asthma sufferers) air. It rarely lasts longer than a couple of days, but it’ll definitely not feel like the pleasantly warm summer weather that’s advertised. Those weather conditions are more common in August and September than June/July.
Winter in Malta
When it comes to the weather, the Maltese are far more likely to complain about the heat than about the cold.
That doesn’t mean that it doesn’t get cold in Malta. Although for people from colder regions a daytime temperature of 10 °C (50 °F) isn’t necessarily cold, the relatively high humidity amplifies the sensation. In other words: Even if adequately dressed, you can feel cold to the core.
Winter, however, never lasts very long. The really cold months are usually December and January, sometimes February as well.
You can tell that pleasant temperatures are much more common in Malta just by looking at the buildings. Insulation is limited to waterproofing with membrane materials to keep out rainwater, but the porous limestone and hollow cement bricks aren’t great for keeping out the humidity (and cold).
You’ll also notice most buildings have flat roofs, simply because there’s hardly any chance of snow ever falling (the weight of heavy snowfall could cause ceilings to collapse).
Precipitation throughout the year
Although annual rainfall is relatively low (averaging less than 600mm per year), when it rains it really rains. Tropical type rain that gets you soaked in a matter of seconds. That sounds more ominous than it really is.
Rain doesn’t fall frequently in winter, and the real heavy rainfall is most likely to happen during September or October, when temperatures are still warm enough not to have to worry about colds and all that.
Snow is a concept most Maltese people know from TV or from travels to colder countries, considering temperatures in Malta rarely approach 0 °C (32 °F). Hail, on the other hand is not uncommon, and unfortunately for car owners that sometimes means their vehicles are riddled with small dents, resulting in costly repairs.
Tips for different weather conditions in Malta
- During the summer months, both temperatures and UV scale readings can soar. The usual advice is to:
- Avoid open sun exposure between 11am and 4pm
- Wear sunblock/sunscreen with a high SPF factor
- Drink plenty of water to avoid dehydration
- During September through to March sudden, heavy rainfall is a possibility. If you happen to be unlucky to be around when it occurs, keep away from low-lying areas.
- With 3,000+ hours of sunshine throughout the year, pack a pair of sunglasses. It can get pretty bright out there!
- Although temperatures don’t look particularly cold in winter months, don’t let the high humidity levels catch you off guard: Layer your clothes and consider bringing along thermal base layers if you’re particularly sensitive to cold.