Radarmeteorology, lighting detection and nowcasting

The radar in Wideumont

The Royal Meteorological Institut has two C-band Doppler radars: one in Wideumont in the province of Luxembourg, and one in the West-Flemish town Jabbeke. A weather radar is a measuring instrument that is used for precipitation observations via remote sensing. The radar samples the atmosphere every 5 minutes and measures the reflectivity and velocity values of the precipitation within a radius of 250 km for the radar in Wideumont and 300 km for the radar in Jabbeke.

The radar of Jabbeke

The radar in Jabbeke is additionally equipped with double polarisation and generates polarmetric measurements. The RMI also uses the data from the Skeyes radar in Zaventem and the VMM radar in Helchteren. In addition, the RMI also receives data from various radars in France, the Netherlands and Germany.

BELLS sensor

The RMI also has a lightning detection system with ten sensors in Belgium, which is also linked to various sensors in Luxembourg, Germany, France and the Netherlands. With this system the impact of a lightning can be determined in real time with an accuracy of a few hundred meters.







Various research projects are currently being carried out at the RMI where radar and lightning data are used. With the research the RMI wants to

  • improve the quality of radar observations and lightning detections;
  • develop high-quality products for quantitative estimates of precipitation, the detection of dangerous weather phenomena and the prediction of precipitation in the very short term (nowcasting);
  • obtain statistical information about the frequency and intensity of extreme precipitation, of hail and of electrical activity during storms by studying long time series of observations with the radar and the lightning detection system;
  • discover crowdsourcing and citizen science as a new data source for meteorological information.

You find more information on the website of radar and lightning detection.