Belgium is a small country about the same size as the Netherlands, which borders it on the north. It has a short coastline on the North Sea and is bordered on the south and west by France and on the east by West Germany and Luxembourg. The general character of the climate is similar to that of the Netherlands with considerable variation from day to day and from one year to another.
The northern part of the country is low-lying and similar to the adjoining Netherlands. The climate of this area is well represented by the table for Ostend and is similar to that of the Netherlands.
The central part of the country is of moderate elevation and consists of gently rolling countryside. Here the climate is a little colder in winter and warmer in summer than along the coast. It is also rather wetter in summer and thunderstorms are more frequent (see the table for Brussels). The north and centre of the country contain the most productive agricultural districts and the largest towns.
The southern third of the country is rather sparsely populated. This is the Ardennes region which consists of forested hills with an average elevation of 300-500 m/1,000-1,600 ft. Here the winters are distinctly colder and, in an average year, snow may lie for as many as fifty days in the higher parts as compared with an average of ten days in the north of the country. Winters here are also wetter than farther north and hill fog occurs frequently. Summer in the Ardennes is only a little cooler than in the north and not very much wetter. The table for Virton is representative of conditions in the valleys and lower parts of the Ardennes.
Except during severe winter weather in the Ardennes, the weather and climate of Belgium are rarely unpleasant or uncomfortable. Average daily sunshine amounts range from about two hours a day in January to between seven and eight hours in June.
© Copyright RM, 2007. All rights reserved. Helicon Publishing is a division of RM.