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Weather: shooting stars on Friday and a sunny weekend

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After a dismal start to the month, weather conditions are finally improving with a warmer weekend predicted and showers of shooting stars visible on Friday night.

The Perseid meteor showers gave rise to around 70 shooting stars per hour on Thursday night but cloud cover across the country obstructed their viewing from land. Clear skies on Friday night should provide better conditions to observe the annual phenomenon, when the Earth’s orbit takes it through a meteor storm not seen at other times of the year.

The brighter skies seen on Friday also bode well for a pleasant weekend with the Royal Meteorological Institute (RMI) forecasting temperatures of up to 25°C in the south of the country.

In addition, conditions are due to stay dry with no rain forecast before Monday although clouds will gather over some regions morning mists are likely.

The long-awaited return to more clement climes has already seen an increase in visitors to the coast. On Thursday afternoon, the rail authority SNCB recorded 1,000 reservations for its coastal express service and advised passengers to book tickets in advance, ahead of an expected increase in those travelling to the coast this weekend.

The most popular destinations were Blankenberge and Ostend; the latter seeing 32,000 visitors – its busiest day since 24 July. However, the afternoon was marred by rain that quickly dispersed crowds. Tragically, the day was overshadowed by the death of a teenage male who drowned in a strong sea current.

Visitors to the coast are reminded to exercise caution when bathing but Daphné Dumery, mayor of Blankenberge, was confident that the rise in tourists this weekend will be “manageable,” with infrastructure and stewards ready to welcome the crowds.

The Brussels Times.