If there’s one thing Maltese people love more than small talk about the weather, it’s a centuries-old tradition that tries to predict a whole year’s worth of weather.
The historic long-term weather forecast tradition of irwieġel (also known as The Calends) is still used to this day in Malta. Normally used by farmers to plan the year ahead, there are two main methods of ‘keeping the irwieġel’, with the most popular one looking at the days leading up to Christmas.
By keeping the record of the weather of the 12 days before the 25th of December, it’s believed that one can shed a light on the following 12 months’ weather.
In other words, 13th December 2018’s weather is a reflection of January 2019’s, 14th December’s that of February’s, and so on.
Well, thanks to local forecasting page Firstmalta – who were keeping tabs while we all downed that Christmas turkey and Panettone (ugh) – we have an idea of what the rest of 2019 is going to look like… at least, as far as the irwieġel are concerned.
January was predicted to be dry… so that’s the first forecast out of the window
Yeah; with the second day of 2019 proving to be one of the gloomiest wet days this winter, we’re not off to the best start.
February’s corresponding day (14th December 2018) was also dry, so we’re either in for a particuarly rainless winter, or the Calends are just majorly off this time round.
If Malta’s old tradition is to be trusted, then March might end up being one of the colder months of winter, with some showers and strong winds
April might also end up being dry, but the irwieġel point to a rather cold month just before things start heating up again in May.
Surprisingly, some of the little rain that is forecasted for the first half of 2019 this way seems to be reserved to June… although to be fair, a freak storm did hit Malta on the first day of summer 2018.
Could we be getting another stormy start to summer this year?
July and August’s forecasts don’t seem to hold any particular surprises, with their corresponding December days being hot and dry
September is expected to bring with it some showers again, with October being the random SOB it usually is with the return of warmer temperatures.
And if The Calends are to be believed, 2019 should be ending with a sunny bang
Although over 300 days away, November and December are expected to be relatively warmer… and drier, too.
Last year’s prediction had started accurately with high winds being predicted for January
In reality, those winds persisted all the way to most of 2018, particuarly in February (when we literally had a shipwreck on 10th February), even though the Calends had forecasted a very sunny and calm month.
L-irwieġel forecasted moments of heavy rain and storms for April, May, June, July August, September and October of last year… which makes sense considering 2018 was recently crowned the stormiest year ever. November and December were meant to be good on us… and judging by last sunny Christmas, they weren’t too bad at all!
Of course, traditions like these always need to be taken with a pinch of salt
Even without climate change and the insanely unpredictable weather all over the world, maybe it’s not the best idea ever to plan every single event and holiday in 2019 based on a centuries-old tradition that literally tries to predict weather patterns hundreds of days in advance.
Featured Image Original Photo by Davide Patanè