100 km/h winds expected in Belgium once heatwave ends

100 km/h winds expected in Belgium once heatwave ends

Belgians should be prepared for thunderstorms with winds up to 100 km/hour once the heatwave ends, according to weather reporter Frank Deboosere.

"The storms will likely be very local," Deboosere told Het Nieuwsblad. "In one municipality, the hail can make dents in cars, while people can continue to barbecue a few municipalities away. Very typical for a summer storm."

The Royal Meteorological Institute (RMI) has issued a thunderstorm warning across the country from Wednesday afternoon until Thursday morning at 8:00 AM.

With the storms, wind gusts of up to 100 km/hour are also possible over the next couple of days. Local thunderstorms are expected to develop in the east of the country, and will then gradually spread towards the centre, according to the RMI.

However, it will be difficult to predict when and where exactly they will take place, Deboosere stressed.

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Warm air can hold much more water vapour than cold air, which is why it can lead to severe storms after periods with high temperatures. Air that is full of water vapour can result in cumulonimbus clouds, known as thunderclouds, in the form of mushrooms.

"I do not want to scare anyone, but when the thunderstorm starts, pull the plugs and make a backup of your computer files right away. If lightning strikes then, you will not lose everything," said Deboosere.

These clouds are formed on the separation between a cold and a heat front, with a large temperature difference between above and below. "When there is no wind, all this rain falls out at the same place," Deboosere said, adding that it could also become hail.

Maïthé Chini

The Brussels Times

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