More storms on the horizon, but water scarcity issues will persist

More storms on the horizon, but water scarcity issues will persist
© Belga

Rain and thunderstorms will continue across Belgium today, with a Code Orange in Brussels and six other provinces, but despite the rain Belgium still faces drought issues.

The thunderstorm zones entering Belgium from France will bring high lightning activity but not a lot of rain – just 20 to 50 litres per square metre or more locally.

Nevertheless, flooding is expected in several places, as 50 litres of water per square metre is almost equal to what falls in a month.

VTM meteorologist Frank Duboccage echoed the warnings of experts who say that droughts are “here to stay,” regardless of periods of heavy rainfall and even flooding.

“It has been dry for a long time, so the ground is also dry. When it rains heavily, the water is not absorbed into the ground and will simply wash away,” said Duboccage. “Streets or places that flood more often could also be susceptible to it.”

“What we want is a sedate rain zone. What we are getting now is not ideal because it all just washes away,” agreed Nicolas Roose of NoodweerBenelux.

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“We can already see that today on the fields in the Ardennes. So this is not a structural solution. More rain is welcome, but not in such a short time.”

Burst of storms and rain on Friday

Thursday’s storms already caused damage in several places, but the weather expected on Friday will be even worse, with high winds predicted to cause serious traffic disruption.

Belgium’s Royal Meteorological Institute is warning people to “be prepared and follow the advice of the competent authorities.”

“Heavy thunderstorms are expected,” the institute says. “Intense rainfall, hail storms, heavy gusts of wind or lightning strikes can cause widespread troubles or damages.”

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