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July recorded as wettest in Belgium for over 40 years

Illustration shows flooded streets in Spa, Wednesday 14 July 2021. ( BELGA PHOTO BRUNO FAHY)
06:24 30/07/2021

In Uccle, the Brussels commune where the royal meteorological institute (IRM) has its headquarters, 151 millimetres of rain fell in July, making it the wettest month since 1980, the head of the weather forecasting department announced this week.

"Unsurprisingly, this fateful month of July has been extremely wet in our country," said climatologist Pascal Mormal. “In Uccle, 150.5mm was recorded as of 27 July, double the average of 76.9 mm.

"To find a month that compares to this July, it is necessary to go back to 1980 when 177.3mm was recorded. That year the Ardennes rivers also experienced spectacular flooding. However, never have they experienced flooding of the violent intensity of those we have experienced this year that makes the floods of 13 to 15 July 2021 a tragedy unprecedented in the history of natural disasters that have struck our country."

The record rainfall in the Brussels municipality for a month of July dates back to 1942, when 196 millimetres of rain were measured.

The record rainfall over a period of 30 days was recorded between 21 June and 20 July 1980, with 241 millimetres of rain falling in Uccle. At the same time, in the Hautes Fagnes, there were 343 millimetres.

The heavy rainfall in recent weeks has led to serious flooding, particularly in the south-east of the country, causing extensive damage. A total of 41 people have died, and two people are still missing.

Written by Nick Amies