The predictions for next week point in the direction of a lot of sun and a lot of heat. ‘In all the years that I have been following the weather maps, I can say: it will be solid,’ says Nicolas Roose of Noodweer Benelux. In order to speak of a heat wave, it must be warmer than 25 degrees for five consecutive days, of which 3 days warmer than 30 degrees. “And we’ll make it effortlessly. From Wednesday the mercury will rise to 25 to 30 degrees. Later in the weekend we will go to 30 to 35 degrees. ‘
Roose says that we can already predict a full heat wave a week in advance. “All weather models point in the same direction, that doesn’t happen very often.” And after Sunday? “That is a long way off, but there are signs that the heat is still going on.” Roose does not want to say whether we break records. “But there may be another degree here and there on top of the predictions, we will be able to estimate that better in the days to come.”
Where does that heat suddenly come from? “It’s warm air from Spain,” says Roose. ‘But because it is so dry here, the heat is more likely to make it even hotter here. If that drought is not supplemented with rain in the winter, autumn or spring, then the heat will be given more free rein in the summer. Compare it to the Sahara, where the dry surface warms up much faster: that effect is also happening here. This could make it even warmer in South West Flanders and Hainaut, in particular. ‘ Elsewhere in Europe it is getting tropical warm, so our northern neighbors are also visited by the same heat wave.
The warning phase of the federal ozone and heat plan has been activated. This is reported by the Interregional Cell for the Environment (Ircel). The Agency for Care and Health also activates the warning phase of the Flemish Heat Action Plan. The agency calls on everyone to take care of themselves and others. In addition, municipalities, home care services, residential care centers, general practitioners, childcare services and youth associations that work with vulnerable groups receive a reminder and tips to protect themselves against heat. In any case, the same advice applies to everyone, says spokesperson Joris Moonens: drink enough, keep yourself and your house cool, and ensure that children or the elderly in the area also find enough drink and cool.
According to the Agency for Care and Health, extra attention is needed this year for people who are weakened by the corona virus. They may be extra vulnerable to heat-related diseases, it says. Conversely, people with heat stress are extra vulnerable to Covid-19.
The predictions for the coming days:
Monday it is first variable to sometimes cloudy with showers from the coast. Thunderbolt is not excluded. During the afternoon and evening it dries from the northwest and it clears up for the most part. Over the east of the country, the chance of showers will remain until evening. The maxima fluctuate between 17 degrees in the High Fens and 20 to 21 degrees in the center. The wind is moderate from southwest and turns to northwest in the afternoon and weakens.
Tuesday it is variable to sometimes overcast but dry. The mercury rises locally to 22 degrees with a mostly moderate west to southwest wind. At the sea, the wind turns northwest.
Wednesday it is often sunny and dry at maximums up to 26 degrees in the center.
Thursday gets sunny and already warm with in many regions maximums around or slightly above 30 degrees. On the coast there is a chance of a northeasterly sea breeze in the afternoon. Elsewhere, the wind blows mainly weak from southeastern directions.
Also Friday it is sunny and even warmer with maximum temperatures around 33 degrees in the center. The wind is weak from east to southeast. On the coast it is cooler due to a sea breeze.
Saturday it stays sunny and very warm with maximums of 30 to 35 degrees
Explained: what is a heat wave?
Explained: How do I keep my house cool in the heat wave?