Summer 2023 sets new weather records

Summer 2023 sets new weather records
The Belgian Coast, in Knokke, Saturday 26 August 2023. Credit: Belga/Kurt Desplenter

This summer (from June to August) was hotter and wetter than the average for the last 30 years, the Royal Meteorological Institute said on Friday.

With sun in June and rain in July and August: summer 2023 was hot and humid with an average temperature of 18.9°C. The summer of 2023 was one degree warmer than the average for the current 30-year reference period (1991-2020).

The warmest month was June, the last month of the school year being the warmest since observations began in 1833. But once holidays started the conditions became much wetter, with average temperatures in July and August slightly below normal.

Strikingly, the lowest minimum temperature recorded in Uccle last summer (10.1°C, on 7 August) was the highest minimum temperature ever recorded since observations began in 1892. In fact, this year was the first time that the temperature did not fall below 10°C during the summer.

Apart from a hot and sunny June, marked by a long period of drought, the summer was punctuated by the high levels of rain, with rainfall above the seasonal average. The transition between July and August was particularly wet. In all, the summer saw 45 days of rain (typically 42.6 days) for a total of 279.5 mm of precipitation (normal: 234.2 mm).

A familiar sight on the streets of Brussels this summer. Credit: Belga / Nicolas Maeterlinck

June 2023 stands out as the sunniest June since records began. The slightly darker months of July and August did not prevent the period from being sunnier than average, with 674 hours and 42 minutes of sunshine (normal: 594h 56min).

Interestingly, a tornado passed through Menuchenet (Bouillon) on 22 June, destroying 500 trees. These are somewhat exceptional, with just 62 being reported between 1982 and 2000.

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