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Record-breaking heat wave returns to Belgium

12:54 15/09/2020

Uccle, Brussels – home of Belgium’s Royal Meteorological Institute (IRM) – saw temperatures soar to 31.6°C yesterday. It is the hottest 14 September on record, announced the IRM’s meteorologist David Dehenauw on Twitter.

And 15 September will be even hotter, with predictions of 33°C, even 34°C made for Brussels. “We have never seen 30 degrees so late in the year,” Dehenauw said. “The last time the 30-degree limit was exceeded was on 13 September 2016 with 31.2 degrees.

His colleague, Pascal Mormal, agreed that to see such high temperatures after 10 September was “very, very rare” and quite exceptional for the season. But he added that these periods of “abnormally hot weather” would likely continue in the years to come.  

This mini heatwave follows the intense heat seen in August, where daily temperatures were higher than normal for most of the month, the IRM said. The institute classifies a heatwave as a period when maximum temperatures measure 25 degrees or more, five days in a row. For at least three of these days, temperatures must reach 30 degrees.

With an average temperature of 20.9°C in Uccle, August 2020 was hotter than the norm (18.0°C). It was ranked second, with August 1911, since records began in 1833. The highest temperatures on record where recorded in August 1997 (21.2°C).

Scorching temperatures have also hit France, François Jobard of national meteorological service Météo-France affirmed – with 34 to 36°C expected for Paris on 15 September: “The last time we reached 34°C in Paris in the month of September was in 1911 (35.6°C on 9 September),” he said, adding that neighbouring Germany is also experiencing temperatures of around 29 degrees this mid-September.