July 18, 2024

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on the map.  These are the sunniest places in Belgium: “This region is also called Belgian Provence” |  That again

on the map. These are the sunniest places in Belgium: “This region is also called Belgian Provence” | That again

Currently we can enjoy a nice Indian summer. Do you sometimes feel that the place you are in is brighter than anywhere else? Or maybe just the opposite? You may not be wrong, because in certain parts of our country the sun shines more often than in other places.

After the rain comes sunshine. But in some parts of Belgium they see the sun more often. This can be seen in the Belgian Climate Atlas issued by the Royal Meteorological Institute (RMI). This shows the geographic distribution of “normal levels” of various meteorological parameters such as sunlight. a natural It is the average value for 30 years. So the long term average. The RMI currently looks at the period from January 1, 1991, to December 31, 2020.


What immediately catches the eye is that there is a huge difference between the places with the greatest and least hours of sunshine per day in our country. In the High Fens, you have to make do with an average of about 4.2 hours of sunlight, while on the coast an hour more (5.2 hours). This difference is mainly a result of cloud cover in one form or another. You often have clear blue skies at the beach, while inland they are filled with cloud fields. This is because sea water is still cold compared to land in the spring and summer. Combined with the sea breeze, this makes the coast a less favorable environment for cumulonimbus cloud formation, and therefore a sunny place.

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In the higher regions the sun shines less. Topography forces the air to rise, causing it to reach a cooler environment (the higher, the colder). Cold air becomes saturated with water vapor more quickly. The excess water vapor has to move somewhere, so clouds form. But if you look closely, you may have noticed that it is sunnier in the far south of the country. The Belgian region of Lorraine is located on the so-called “Lee side” of the Ardennes. This is the side away from the wind where less clouds form compared to the leeward side where the wind pushes the air upwards. That’s why people sometimes dare to call this region Belgian Provence.

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How do you determine how long the sun shines?

Sunshine duration is the period during which direct solar radiation exceeds the fixed limit of 120 W/m2. In the past, the number of hours of sunshine was determined differently. Traditionally this was done with the help of a helicopter photo. This object consists of a glass sphere that focuses direct sunlight onto heat-sensitive paper. The result is a fire trail by which you can determine how long the sun will shine based on its height.

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