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    Belgium “officially” in a heatwave

    © Belga
    People are feeling the effects of the current heatwave.
    © Belga

    We are now officially in a heatwave in Belgium. The threshold of 25 degrees Celsius was exceeded at 8.30 a.m on Thursday morning in Uccle. The country has witnessed five days of at least 25 degrees Celsius, of which at least three days have been 30 degrees or more. David Dehenauw of the Royal Meteorological Institute (known as the “IRM”) says that the previous heatwave fell at the end of August last year.

    On Monday, Tuesday and Wednesday, the temperature reached around 30 degrees at the Uccle weather station. On Thursday, the temperatures are forecast to climb up to 35 degrees Celsius in the Campine region. However, the temperature should go down from Friday onwards.

    Temperatures reached peak night levels during the period from Wednesday night through to Thursday morning. The meteorological station’s thermometer recorded a temperature of 23.9°C at 6 a.m. this morning. This came at the end of the hottest night for any June, since records began in 1901. The previous record dates back to June 27th, 1976. The RTBF says that the temperature was then 20.5°C.

    Owing to these increased temperatures, the unnecessary use of water is prohibited in Flanders as from today. The Flemish region wishes to prevent the waste of drinking water owing to watering the lawn, filling the swimming pool or cleaning the car.

    The Walloon Regional Crisis Centre has stated that four or five communes in the region have received water restriction orders from the Walloon Water Company (known locally as the “SWDE”). These form a single catchment area supplied by the SWDE. These communes are benefiting from water replenishment by tankers. However, the effects of the extremely dry conditions remain highly limited in the south of the country.

    The last June heatwave recorded dates back to 2006. In 1976, Belgium saw the longest heatwave ever recorded. Back then temperatures reached more than 30 degrees Celsius during a period of 17 days in a row.

    Christopher Vincent
    The Brussels Times