Malta records worst winter drought in 50 years

2016-02-29 21:03
Malta (Bettie Lambrecht)

Malta (Bettie Lambrecht)

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Valletta - Malta has officially recorded its driest winter spell in 50 years, the Meteorological Office said on Monday.

The 76.3mm of rain measured during the three months since the start of December is the lowest since 1966, Meteorological Office records show.

February was the driest in at least five decades with virtually no rain, and is now also one of the warmest on record.

The farming community is bracing itself for disaster, saying the low precipitation will put more strain on the water table and badly affect certain fruit species.

John Gauci, president of the Farmers' Central Co-operative, said the absence of rainfall will negatively impact both the crops and the chemical balance in the soil.

"Also, the fact that the weather is relatively warm for this time of year, things could become even more complicated because it may result in the spreading of certain diseases," he told Times of Malta.

The Malta Water Association said this would lead to a temporary increase in the salinity of groundwater.

The dry spell has concerned many on the Mediterranean island, to the extent that the Church organized a pilgrimage on Sunday to urge the faithful to pray for rain.

Read more on:    malta  |  weather

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