Belgian resorts riled over gloomy summer forecasts

Jul 06, 2012
Two young women enjoy their ice cream on the first sunny spring day of 2001 in Brussels. Belgium's seaside resorts are threatening to sue a top weather site they say is dissuading tourists with coastal forecasts of a gloomy summer, the Belgian press reported Friday.

Belgium's seaside resorts are threatening to sue a top weather site they say is dissuading tourists with coastal forecasts of a gloomy summer, the Belgian press reported Friday.

The resorts slammed MeteoBelgique.be, one of Belgium's most consulted weather pages, for posting a general weather overview for the three summer months, when most sites only offer a ten-day forecast

"It's very hard to predict the weather so far in advance. So why make people panic?" said Hoorens Geert, in charge of tourism for the Belgian coast, quoted by the Belgian daily La Meuse.

The said in a June blog post the weather would remain erratic over the coming months, especially in late July and early August, after an early summer marked by little sunshine and heavy rainfall.

The post included a reminder that "a dry, hot in Belgium, if that happens, like in 2003 and 2006, remains an exception that proves the rule."

"No, we are not in a where the summers are warm and rainfall is minor. It's important to remember..." the weather site wrote in June.

But Belgian resorts say the forecast is chasing away their customers, with the head of tourism at Knokke confirming there had already been cancellations.

"The damage could be significant" on an economic level, Daniel Despiegelaer said in an interview with the public television station RTBF, adding that the coastal resorts plan to talk over the possibility of filing a complaint.

"Our daily tourism totals about 200,000 people who each spend 35 euros ($43). If they don't come, that'll mean a loss of five to seven million" euros, Geert said.

Meteo Belgique addressed the criticism on its site, explaining that its seasonal trends "are not set-in-stone forecasts: we could never predict the Ostend will experience in one month and three days at 7:20 pm!"

"That said, it's possible to identify for that period," they added.

The site estimates that the reliability of its forecasts "is now close to 70 percent" for the first month and "between 60 and 55 percent" for the second and third months.

Explore further: 'Shocking' underground water loss in US drought

add to favorites email to friend print save as pdf

Related Stories

Predicting hot days in Europe

Jun 29, 2012

(Phys.org) -- 'Red sky at night, shepherd's delight, red sky in morning, fisherman's warning.' This saying is one of Europe's earliest rhymes that were used to predict weather for the following day. With advances in modern ...

China buys an IBM supercomputer

Aug 16, 2007

The Beijing Meteorological Bureau in China has purchased an IBM supercomputer to produce weather forecasts during the 2008 Olympic Summer Games.

Where did English summer go?

Aug 22, 2007

What is a proper English summer? Should we really expect unfettered sunshine and months spent in the garden with our barbecues? Is it time to admit our climate is variable and the weather is hard to predict?

Recommended for you

'Shocking' underground water loss in US drought

10 hours ago

A major drought across the western United States has sapped underground water resources, posing a greater threat to the water supply than previously understood, scientists said Thursday.

User comments : 0