The meteorological summer starts on 1 June and ends on 31 August. Although this is still two weeks away the figures so far show that summer 2021 has been exceptionally wet.
"It has rained an awful lot. On average 225mm of rain falls at Ukkel (the site of the Royal Meteorological Institute) during the summer. This year we have already had 361mm of rain. The absolute record since records started to be kept at Ukkel was 365mm in 1992. This record will certainly be broken”.
Flooding in July
The so-called “waterbomb” that resulted in severe flooding in the east of the country of course played a part in making this summer the wettest on record. 37 people lost their lives and many more their homes in the flooding. No fewer than 240 of the 262 Walloon municipalities were impacted in some way by the flooding. On 14 and 15 July Wallonia saw an amount of rain that would normally fall less often than once every century.
Frank Deboosere says that the extreme weather is definitely linked to global warming.
"In a warmer world the air can contain more water vapor. This causes longer dryer periods, but also harder outbreaks of rain. In addition to this in a climate that is warming temperatures increase quicker at the poles than at the equator. The reduced contrast in temperatures between the poles and the equator causes the Gulf Stream to meander. As a result of this areas of pressure (low or high) can remain in the same place for longer”, Frank Deboosere explained.