Cool breezes and rain? In August?! It might sound insane for a sunny island like Malta, but locals will be familiar with the arrival of l-għarajjex ta’ Santa Marija. The thing is, the annual phenomenon might actually kick off a bit earlier this year.
Today has kicked August’s first full week off with not much difference, as the sun continues to simmer the islands in highs that will feel as hot as 38°C at their worst. But we won’t have to wait too long for change to start creeping in.
With the arrival of clouds tomorrow, the temperature will slowly start budging down as the wind starts picking up, escalating to northwesterly gusts of Force 5 and 6 on Wednesday as the temperature plummets by eight degrees and just about makes it to 30°C. Because of this, the UV Index will also offer some respite, finally dropping from double digits and gravitating at a still-potentially-harmful 9.
By the beginning of the weekend, however, weird things could kick off with possible showers on Friday that could go on for a couple of days.
“An upper level cold pool of air is expected to penetrate the central Mediterranean this week,” Facebook forecasting page Malta Weather elaborated in more technical detail. This, the page explained, will “combine with very hot sea to produce instability and the formation of cumuliform clouds… with potential rain showers in places across Malta and Gozo!”
Confirming the change of temperature that comes with all this, Malta Weather finished off by saying “temperatures are also expected to cool down significantly from mid-week”.
Of course, any local will tell you this time of the year is notorious for a random mid-summer storm or two… but things usually kick off a little bit later.
In what is referred to as l-għarajjex ta’ Santa Marjia specifically because of the mid-August association with the super popular feast of the Assumption, Malta usually sees some clouds and even rain this time of the year. And considering we’ve just gone through the hottest days of 2020 this weekend, we sure need some of that breezy, wet relief.
But while l-għarajjex usually serve as a sign of fresher things to come, we won’t hold our breath just yet; temperatures on the horizon don’t look to be much cooler than 30°C.