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New heatwave warning following second driest July ever in Belgium
July 2022 was a hot, sunny and an extremely dry month, confirmed the Royal Meteorological Institute (RMI). It was also the second driest July ever recorded.
The drought situation in Belgium now looks set to continue with a new heatwave warning issued for 3 to 5 August. Temperatures are forecast to rise to at least 32°C across most of the country.
The RMI has given a yellow heat alert for the Brussels region and the following seven provinces: Hainaut, Luxembourg, Walloon Brabant, Antwerp, Limburg, Flemish Brabant and East Flanders.
"On Wednesday, the maximum temperatures will reach or exceed 32 degrees in a significant part of several provinces (and other local areas). This will still be the case on Thursday, mainly for the province of Luxembourg," it specified.
Belgium, as well as much of Europe, has already suffered from high temperature spikes since the spring. The excessive heat has led to several major fires, in particular in the Gard region in southern France, as well as in Germany and the Czech Republic. The month of July 2022 was also the second driest month recorded in France.
In Wallonia, the river levels have been strongly affected by the ongoing drought. It’s currently no longer possible to kayak in the region, while some rivers have banned fishing.
Historically low rainfall recorded in July
The RMI takes climate readings in Uccle, where only 5.2mm of rain was recorded in July; the norm for the season is 76.9mm. Since measurements started in 1833, July 2022 ranks as the second driest July. The lowest rainfall ever recorded was 2.9mm in July 1885.
Last month, light rain fell on five days, while the seasonal average is 14.3 days. Thunderstorms were restricted to three days while the average is 13.2 days. The figures confirm the current drought situation in Belgium. Climate norms refer to the average calculated over a period of 30 years (between 1991 and 2020).
During July, there were alternating hot and cooler days, resulting in an average temperature of 19.6°C, which is only slightly above the climatic norm of 18.7°C.