Winter 2019-2020 was one of the warmest on record

According to figures released on Sunday by the Royal Meteorological Institute (RMI) winter 2019-2020 was one of the warmest since records began. The average temperature at the RMI’s Ukkel (Brussels) Weather Centre (photo above) during December, January and February was 6.3°C. This is well above the long-term winter average of 3.6°C.

December 2019 was the warmest December since 1981 and the 5th warmest December since records began at the Ukkel Weather Centre in 1833. January 2020 was the 6th warmest January on record, while February the 5th warmest February.

This makes last winter the one of the mildest winters in almost 200 years. The warmest ever winter on record was 2007 with an average temperature of 6.6°C in Ukkel. The winter of 2019-2020 was the third warmest ever, just behind the winter of 2016 and just ahead that of 2014.  Temperatures fell below freezing at one point during just 16 of the 91 days in December, January and February. For the 6th time since 1981 temperatures didn’t stay below freezing all day on a single day all winter. During an average winter it freezes on 32.1 days and there are 6.5 days during which temperature remain under 0°C.

The highest temperature recording anywhere in Belgium during the winter months was 18.4°C at Kuringen, near Hasselt in Limburg Province on 16 February. The lowest temperature (-9.2°C) was recorded at Elsenborn in the East of Liège Province.

Despite a very wet February, the picture for the winter as a whole shows that rainfall was only slightly above average at 230.3mm. This is less than 10mm less than the long term average of 220.5mm.  There were just two days on which snow fell. This is the fourth lowest number of days on record.  

February was very windy on no fewer than 19 days on which wind speeds reached 72 km/h in Ukkel. On no fewer than six occasions, five of which in February wind speeds of 100 km/h or more were recorded somewhere in Belgium.