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Orange alert: strong wind, heavy showers

Orange alert: strong wind, heavy showers

Waves driven by strong gusts of wind hit the coast of Malta, Feb 2019. (AP Photo/Rene Rossignaud)

It’s expected that Malta’s east coast will be battered by strong winds reaching up to force 7 and heavy rain over the next couple of days, with the Met Office at the Malta International Airport even issuing an orange alert.

The rough weather is visiting the islands as storms in neighbouring Sicily have left two people dead, cars overturned, entire streets submerged in water due to torrential downpour and whole regions on high-alert. Locally, the Met Office said that they are expecting moderate to heavy showers with thunder today and strong winds becoming very strong over affected areas.

A spokesperson at the office said that they expected the largest volumes of rain to fall between Wednesday and Thursday evening. Eastern coastal areas will be especially vulnerabke to the rough weather and Force 7 winds, which are forecast for the next three days, can reach speeds of 61km/hour and are considered to be one step below gale force.

The poor weather forecast is the result of a low-pressure system to the south-east of the island. The system, known as a depression, will remain practically still until tonight, before it starts moving towards Sicily on Thursday. Though weather conditions are expected to improve significantly as of Thursday evening, once the system shifts away from Malta, we would definitely recommend keeping your umbrellas close.

An MIA spokesperson urged people to take the necessary precautions and that the Office will be issuing warnings accordingly.

For the sake of safety

 Due to the weather forecast, organisers of the Rolex Middle Sea race were forced to shift the finish line away from Marsamxett Harbour to Ċirkewwa. In the same vein, the ferry service between Sicily and Malta will not be operating tomorrow, said Virtu Ferries.

In terms of our own personal safety, it’s recommended that we clear gutters and drains to allow water to drain properly, remove any unfastened or unsecured objects from gardens, terraces and roofs, ensure that windows are closed properly and park cars on higher ground. Oh and also stay in bed binge-watching series if at all possible.