This winter was the third mildest since 1833

This winter was the third mildest since 1833
© Belga

The winter just past – meteorologists count the beginning of March as the end of winter – was the third most mild since records began in Belgium in 1833, according to the Royal Meteorological Institute (RMI) in Uccle.

Three of the four mildest winters took place this century – in 2014, 2016 and 2020. The temperature measured at Uccle swung from -2.5°C and 16.6°C.

There were only 14 freezing days, when the minimum temperature drops below zero. And for the sixth time since 1981, there was not a single “winter” day, when the temperature does not rise above 0°C. Normally one would expect 6.5 winter days, and 32.1 freezing days in the whole season.

The average temperature across the period was 6.3°C, just less than the highest average in 2007 of 6.6°C.

The highest temperature of the season was 18.4°C at Kuringen in Hasselt on 16 February. And the lowest was -9.2°C at Elsenborn on 23 January.

As far as precipitation is concerned, the season was more or less normal, with December and January slightly drier than normal, while February, with a named storm every weekend, was very much wetter.

Overall, Uccle measured 230.3mm of precipitation (which includes rain, snow, sleet and hail) compared to a seasonal average of 220.5mm. And with snow falling only in the last two days of February, this winter was the fourth least snowy since records began, after the years 1990, 2008 and 2014.

In the rest of the country, the picture was slightly whiter, with 30 days in which snow fell. The record for 2020 goes to Mont Rigi (in the commune of Waimes in Liege province) on 27 February, with 34cm of snow (webcam).

Finally, the sun shone for 169h55m at Uccle, compared to the seasonal norm of 180h29m. But there were only 25 days when there was no sun at all, compared with the norm of 36.7 days.

Alan Hope

The Brussels Times

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