Being a winter month, January’s weather in Malta can be a real mix of sunshine, cloud, rain and some strong winds. Strong winds usually blow for two to three days at a time, and can feel bitingly cold, especially on cloudy days and at night. Sometimes these winds can be harsh and can reach force 7 or 8. When rain falls, however, it’s not often for the whole day, usually falling in showers in either the morning or afternoon. Although a Mediterranean country, don’t expect sunbathing conditions if you visit in January; the conditions though, are ideal for walking, sightseeing or an activity holiday, as on most days, the sun will make an appearance at some point, averaging 5.5 hours per day.
Daytime temperatures average 15 degrees Centigrade, with a daytime temperature of 18°C considered warm and 11°C considered cold. Night-time temperatures average 9°C with 5°C classified as unusually cold. Together with November and December, January is one of the wettest months in the Mediterranean and Malta is no exception, with an average of 95 mm falling during the month. January however, feels much colder than December and there is a Maltese saying, “Qabel il-Milied, la bard u lanqas ksieh” which roughly translates as “There’s no cold before Christmas”.
January and February are usually the coldest months of the year in Malta. Up until 2008, the coldest day on record was on 31st January 1999 with a maximum temperature of 8.5°C. This record was broken in 2008, when temperatures only reached 7.9°C at the Balzan weather station, with other localities recording temperatures as low as 6 or 7°C. Compared to Northern Europe though, Malta in January is much warmer, and temperatures never fall below freezing, so snow never falls on the islands.
The sea has a surface temperature in January of around 15°C, so diving is still possible on calmer days. One activity that is becoming more popular is kite-surfing, and breezy days are ideal for lovers of the winter sport to take to the blue waters of Mellieha Bay. The sea though, can get rough in January and care should be taken at all times if indulging in such activities.