Storm Francis has officially hit Belgium, with strong winds recorded throughout the night, Meteorologist David Dehenauw said on Tuesday evening.
The Westhinder measuring point, situated about 30 kilometres from the coast, but still in Belgian territorial waters, measured an average wind speed of 9 Beaufort. At 9 Beaufort, wind speeds range from 75 to 88 kilometres per hour. This is the intensity recognised when one speaks of a storm.
The Royal Meteorological Institute (RMI) warned earlier on Tuesday of gusty winds, with the coast getting a code orange due to winds of up to 90 km/h on Tuesday night. The rest of the country got a code yellow, with gusts of 70 to 80 km/h expected. Weatherman Bram Verbruggen had predicted that the eye of the storm would miss Belgium.
The strongest gust recorded in the RMI’s synoptic network so far was 86 km/h in Middelkerke and Zeebrugge, said Dehenauw.
The bulk of the storm is expected to pass on Wednesday afternoon.