The Maltese islands of Malta and Gozo lie in the central Mediterranean, midway between Sicily and North Africa. The total area is small, only 316 sq km/122 sq mi, and is low-lying and flat.
The weather and climate are strongly influenced by the sea and have a very characteristic Mediterranean flavour, similar to that found in southern Italy or southern Greece.
Winters are mild, with only rare occurrences of cold weather brought by north and northeast winds from central Europe. Summers are warm, dry, and very sunny.
Daytime temperatures in summer are usually mitigated by cooling sea breezes, but in spring and autumn a very hot wind from Africa occasionally brings unpleasantly high temperatures. This is the sirocco, which also affects Italy and Greece; in Malta the air is usually rather drier because of the short sea track from the African coast.
Annual rainfall in Malta is rather low and the length of the dry season in summer is longer than in southern Italy. Malta has a very sunny climate with an average of five to six hours of sunshine a day in midwinter and over twelve hours a day in summer.
The table for Valletta shows weather that is characteristic of Malta.
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