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Summer 2021 wettest since observations started in 1833

Credit: Belga

Although there are still two weeks of the calendar month, the meteorological summer, starting on 1 June and ending on 31 August, will be the wettest since measurements began in Uccle in 1833.

Belgium experienced a “special summer” in 2021, according to weatherman Frank Deboosere, as it has experienced drought, a lot of sun, and heatwaves.

“This year the weather is clearly ‘different’. On average, Uccle has 225 mm of precipitation during the summer. This year, we have already had 361 mm of rain,” he said.

The previous record for the wettest summer since records began almost 200 years ago was set in the summer of 1992 when there was 365 mm of precipitation. “So that record will definitely be broken,” Deboosere said.

Whilst June 2021 was the tenth wettest June since observations began, the month of July marked a new historical precipitation record according to the Royal Meteorological Institute of Belgium (RMI).

This came as no surprise, following the severe weather which ravaged Belgium in mid-July and resulted in deadly floods killing at least 37 people and leaving serious water damage in its wake.

Wet, but normal temperatures

Despite the heavy rainfall, the summer of 2021 is “almost perfectly in line with the average of the past 30 years,” according to Deboosere.

The average temperature will be around 17.8°C. Compared to an average summer in the period 1961-1990, this summer was one degree warmer.

“We seem to have already forgotten that June 2021 was very warm. June 2021 is the sixth warmest June since observations began in Uccle in 1833,” he said.

But there has been no heatwave this year, and not one tropical day (with a maximum temperature of more than 30°C) was registered in Uccle this year, as the warmest day so far was 18 June 2021, with 29.5°C.

The sun also shone less in the latter two summer months and according to preliminary estimates, Belgium will have seen a little less than a hundred hours of sunshine.