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SEVERE THUNDERSTORM – 5th October 2006

An isolated thunderstorm moving in from the northwest affected the Maltese Islands, especially Gozo, where heavy rain caused severe flooding and an unconfirmed tornado at Xlendi. An unconfirmed tornado was also reported at Golden Bay, while 1cm hail was reported at Qrendi. Winds were very strong during this storm with a gust of 107km/h (57 knots) at Mellieha at around 4.10pm. The unconfirmed brief tornado at Xlendi  uprooted some trees and brought down a few rubble walls.

The small sandy beach at Xlendi was also practically washed away by the floodwaters. The heaviest rainfall was reported in Zebbug 86.2mm, Marsalforn 54.0mm, Victoria 41.0mm and Sannat 34.4mm. A relatively weak dry line oriented southwest-northeast was present together with a lifted index of -6.6 and a CAPE of over 2000J/kg. The hodograph was oriented southwest-northeast too indicating that a good wind shear was present.

PHOTOS TAKEN BY CHRIS BUGEJA, ANDREI ATTARD & METEO MALTA