Heavy thunderstorm disrupts Les Ardentes; tree "explodes" in Wevelgem

Heavy showers and thunderstorms are coming in from the west today. There is also a chance of hail, the Met Office warns, and the thunderstorms could be accompanied by gusts of winds. The Met Office has issued a yellow alert for the whole of Belgium from about noon to well after midnight, though the worst is probably behind us. The bad weather caused havoc in Liège and West Flanders.
A fir tree "exploded" in Wevelgem.

The first showers reached West Flanders this morning, but the chance of heavy thunderstorms persists until the evening and the night. The showers may be heavy, and could trigger local floods.

The music festival Les Ardentes in Liège was hit in the early afternoon. Due to heavy rain, the open-air concerts were suspended around 3pm, disrupting the rest of the day's schedule.

"I have never seen anything like it"

In Wevelgem, West Flanders, the lightning hit a big fir tree. Parts of the tree were found in a circle of 100 metres around. Nobody got injured, but there was some damage to nearby houses as the pieces of the tree weighed up to 15 kilos.

The incident happened around 12:30. Local residents said they suddenly heard a heavy explosion. When they came out, they saw that the fir tree had actually exploded. "I have never seen anything like this", said the local fire fighter Bart Dubois.

It will remain relatively mild on Friday and Saturday, with the biggest chance of showers on Friday, and more stable summer weather on Saturday. However, the tables will be turning as from Sunday, with fresher and wet weather coming up.