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Record-breaking temperature on Monday, more on the way
By noon, Belgium had already broken the record temperature for a 25 February: 15.8°C was recorded at the meteorological institute in Uccle. The previous record for 25 February was 15.4°, which happened in 1964.
Tomorrow is forecast to break another record, and much more handily. The previous record of 15.7° dates from 1922, and it is expected that tomorrow will see highs of above 17°. Wednesday will also see much higher than normal temperatures, with 17° forecast. The record for that day is much closer, however: 17.3°.
Today is the second record-breaking high temp this month: On 15 February, the high was 18.1°, which pulverised the 17.2° record from 1998. It doesn’t beat the all-time record high for February in Belgium, however: That honour belongs to 28 February, 1690, when the temperature in Brussels reached 18.7°.
After Wednesday, the sun will disappear behind dark rain clouds. While the temperature on Thursday will remain unseasonably high, at about 14°, there is a chance of rain. Friday will see highs of about 10° and more rain. The 14-day outlook sees temperatures swinging between 8 and 12 degrees.
Can I garden?
The warm sunshine of the past few days have found those with gardens puzzling about whether they should consider this the first week of spring in terms of tasks to carry out. “Keep in the back of your mind that winter is really only half over in Belgium,” warns Peter Roels of the Botanic Garden Meise. About this time of year, we intuitively feel that it’s nearly spring, but for some work, it’s really too early. The ground actually gets cold very slowly, and is at its coldest right now.”
Roels suggests not mowing the grass, nor clearing any leftover autumn leaves. The leaf groundcover is important to create a layer against the cold for insects and new sprouts. Clearing it away now will kill off anything as temperatures drop at night.
It’s a good time to prune fruit trees, however, including apple and pear trees, as well as grape vines. It’s also perfectly fine to clip hedges and vines. Leave flowering plants and bushes alone, however, until at least the end of March.
Feel free to plant trees and bulbs also, he says, but not veggies or herbs. Though you can plant those inside and transfer them outside next month, he notes.
Photo: Nicolas Maeterlinck/BELGA