Snow is as rare a sight as they get on the Maltese islands. Records of the last 200 years show that it’s only ever snowed three times before, with the latest official snowfall being 1962. But before the turn of the millennium, Malta got to experience a white sheet worthy of some very impressive shots.
It was 2nd February 1999 when the temperature plummeted to a chilly 2.6°C – the coldest this month has ever been. And as rain fell, it quickly turned into hail, and a mere 15 minutes later, some localities were transformed into as close to a Christmas postcard as they could ever get.
In a Facebook post by Salvu Debono, one particular location in the south of Malta – Marsascala – is nearly unrecognisable amidst all the whiteness. Whether you remember this day or you were just young enough to miss (or you weren’t even born, in which case fuck do we feel old), these photos will definitely send a nostalgic shiver down your spine.
Salvu’s post – apart from getting people commenting “Photoshop!” in disbelief – also spurred other people to share their own snaps from that fatefully frosty day.
One person even commented on how the hail – which only lasted for a quarter of an hour – had had serious repercussions on his household. “My garden took four years to properly recover!” he said.
1999 was actually quite the year for extreme weather in Malta
Beyond the 15 minutes of heavy hail that had hit the islands on 2nd February, the year ended up being one for the history books as far as temperatures are concerned.
Barely six months after some towns were blanketed in white, temperatures shot way up, hitting the historical record of 43.8°C on 9th August. Just for some context, that day was my lucky birthday, and I can still recall my Mickey Mouse-shaped cake melting after barely five minutes out near the pool.
Here’s hoping that this winter ends up being cold enough for an update of these awesome photos, especially now that everyone has professional-level cameras just chilling in their pockets.