Malta melts on the hottest week of 2019 so far

Malta is sizzling on the warmest week of the year as thousands flock to the island’s beaches to soak up the sun.

Temperatures are expected to feel as warm as 43°C this week, marking the third heatwave of the summer in Malta and Gozo.

The Met Office in Luqa issued a yellow weather alert on Tuesday, warning that temperatures will reach as high as 38°C over the next five days.

Tuesday was the hottest day of 2019 so far, however the highest temperature ever recorded in Malta was in August 1999 when the mercury soared to 43.8°C.

Forecasters said there will be ‘plenty of sunshine’ through to Sunday as an area of high pressure continues to dominate the central Mediterranean.

Some of the most popular hot-spots include Golden Bay beach where thousands of sun lovers crammed on to the sand.

But the roasting conditions have already seen four people die in the past week after getting into difficulties in the sea.

Andrea Muscat from Maltese Islands Weather said: ‘This heat wave has been caused by an extension of the Sahara Desert high pressure system over the Mediterranean.

‘This will drag very hot air from North Africa. The relatively high humidity will push real-feel values up.

‘Nights should be very clammy. The daytime UV Index will be at an extreme 11+. This means an extreme risk of harm from unprotected sun exposure.’

Emergency services across Malta have shared advice to stay safe, cool and hydrated during the hot conditions.

Health officials said: ‘We advise everyone to take care in the sun. Either stay out of the sun or be sensible and don’t go out in the strongest sunshine hours – 11am to 3pm.’

The public were urged to take the usual precautions in the sun.

These include:

  • Shut windows and pull down the shades when it is hot outside
  • Stay out of the sun and don’t go out between 11am and 3pm
  • Have cool baths or showers
  • Drink cold drinks regularly, such as water or juice. Avoid tea, coffee and alcohol
  • If outdoors, seek shade and wear protective clothing
  • Check up on friends, relatives and neighbours who may be less able to look after themselves
  • Wear SPF 30+ sunscreen and sunglasses
  • Keep all pets in a cool area
  • Remember that babies, young children, people with underlying conditions, pregnant women and the elderly are at a greater risk