The first report of the year from the Royal Meteorological Institute (released on Wednesday) states that there have been abnormally low amounts of rainfall and unusually high hours of sunshine. The RMI explains that this weather has resulted from persistent anticyclonic conditions.
In 47 days, 127.3 mm of rain fell (the normal average would be 220.5 mm in 54.8 days), or the lowest result since 1985 (when 120.5 mm of rain fell). The all-time record dates back to 1964, when Belgium had the driest winter of the 20th century (with 62.9 mm of rainfall).
Going back to this winter, the sun shone for 217 hours and 28 minutes, which is significantly above seasonal norms (179 hours 12 minutes) but far below the 2008 record (256 hours). This year, the Liège and Mons regions were particularly lucky in this regard.
In Mont-Rigi, daily snow cover reached a depth of at least 20 cm from January 5th to February 3rd, with a maximum of 47.5 cm on January 15th.
Average wind speeds fell to 3.4 metres/second a value close to the 1964 record (3.2 metres/second). The seasonal norm is 4.2 metres/second. The windy conditions of recent days are closer to the seasonal norms.
The highest winter temperature was measured on February in Bilzen (17.6 degrees Celsius) and the lowest on January 23rd in Elsenborn (-17.4 degrees Celsius).