Drought - trends predict a warmer, drier than average summer

Monday, 19 June 2017 17:07
Drought - trends predict a warmer, drier than average summer © Belga
Climate trends predict a warmer, drier than average summer, was the cautious announcement from Pascal Mormal of the Royal Institute of Meteorology on Monday.
The drought situation that we have been experiencing for several months now will not improve spontaneously but it will not be as catastrophic as that experienced in 1976.

"The situation is more than worrying since rain has been lacking since July 2016", says the climatologist. Eleven months, except November, had a "deficit" of rain. Only 17.5 millimeters have fallen so far in June, and 524 liters per square meter since last July.

A heat wave period is also expected this week but will not reach the 1976 levels when 15 consecutive days were recorded from late June to early July. "However the statistics for the summer months are not yet obvious", warns the climate scientist. We speak of a heat wave when there at least five consecutive days above 25 degrees, of which three are above 30 degrees, are recorded.

If thunderstorms are expected on Thursday and early next week, they cannot be expected to make up for the precipitation deficits of recent months even though they should refresh the atmosphere, said Mr. Mormal. "Thunderstorms are usually very localised and rain is rapidly carried away by runoff, with anti-cyclonic blockages persisting over the Atlantic and overall forecasts not suggesting any improvements for now", the expert concluded.

Sarah Johansson
The Brussels Times
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