2022: Highest average temperature since records began

2022: Highest average temperature since records began
The 'L'Etang de l'Ile' in Virton Luxembourg province, Belgium, on Friday 12 August 2022. Severe droughts affected Europe since the beginning of the year. Credit: Bruno Fahy / Belga

2022 saw the highest average maximum temperature since records began in Belgium in 1892, the Royal Meteorological Institute (RMI) reports. It was also the second driest year measured in 30 years, behind only 2018 when droughts caused devastation in the country.

At the RMI monitoring station in Uccle, the average temperature rose to 16.2°C. In August, the maximum temperature even exceeded 20°C every day, the first time that had occurred since measurements started.

The overall average annual temperature in Uccle will reach 12.1°C this year, the RMI expects, as it can only work from predictions until the end of December. This will put 2022 in second place in the list of warmest years since 1833, with the warmest year being 2020 at 12.2°C. Belgium's ten warmest years all occurred after 2005.

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Furthermore, with a precipitation total of 661.5 mm (taking into account expectations until the end of the year) 2022 is also likely to be the second driest year in the last 30 years, with only 2018 being even drier.

This is in stark contrast to 2021, which saw Belgium impacted by floods. With the exception of June, most of Belgium experienced dry to extremely dry conditions from March to August, according to the RMI. With barely 5.2 mm of precipitation, July 2022 was the driest July month in Uccle since 1991.

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