Belgium on track for sunniest spring in recorded history

Belgium on track for sunniest spring in recorded history

Belgium is on track to wrap up its warmest spring season in recorded history, with the country's typically unstable weather this year giving way to nearly 700 hours of dry and sunny weather.

The current month of May is also set to become the driest one in 200 years, with meteorologists saying that this month's low levels of rainfall (5.4 litres per square metre) were only beat by the 1L/m2 that fell in May 1833.

Since the start of the season, weather experts have notched up 687 hours of sunshine, a sharp increase from the average of 464 the country usually gets in spring.

With forecasts predicting temperatures of up to 25 degrees Celcius and 14 hours of sunshine each day, meteorologist David Dehenauw said the record for the hottest spring ever recorded in Belgium was sure to tumble.

The clearer skies and drier weather come as Belgium's usually shifting climate becomes more stable as a result of changes brought on by climbing global temperatures, according to experts.

"Before, the weather changed every four or five days. This is no longer the case because the jet stream is less active due to climate change," Dehenauw said, referring to an air current passing through Belgium.

The changing weather could put further stress on Belgian farmers and households, with many in Flanders already feeling the effects of the lack of rain.

Last week, dozens of Flemish households were left without running water, while last year, authorities scrambled for solutions as farmers across the country were left reeling under the record-breaking heatwave that swept through Europe.

The increasingly warming temperatures spell trouble for a country like Belgium, more accustomed to common spells of rain than prolonged periods of warm and dry weather, with experts stressing the need to quickly adapt to the shifting global temperatures.

"Climate disruptions will continue confronting us with drought, floods, heatwaves and loss of biodiversity," Patrick Willems, water management expert at KU Leuven, told 7sur7. "We need to find solutions capable of tackling these four problems simultaneously."

Gabriela Galindo

The Brussels Times

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