How to deal with rain?

To answer a question with another question, isn’t this article’s topic just an absurd question?

In a way, it is, because there is nothing we can do about the rain.
Well, not necessarily.

Go forth and explore!

Botond Horvath – Shutterstock

Whenever I speak to newly arrived expats, I always say it is essential to have the right mindset when it comes to the weather in Brussels. We typically and make the best of our day.

In other words, you should just do the things you want to do and go to the places you would like to visit.

Obviously, you’re not going to go to a beach when it’s only 13 degrees and pouring. But if you had in mind to go shopping in Antwerp or making a little road trip through Wallonia, I suggest not to change your plans. Of course, nice weather is, well, better (duh), but the problem is there are just too few of those and wait for them.

Your time as an expat is short, so go out there and see this city and explore the country. If you are interested in some additional insights into weather in Belgium, read this blog post.


Managing expectations: the buienradar

Ivan Dunsmore – Shutterstock

Some certainty of weather conditions would certainly make it easier to plan your activities.

For instance, when shall you meet your friends at the park? Should you really go out to get a baguette and some eggs from the supermarket now? And the one that inspired me to write this very blog post, when should you leave your office to pick up my little boy from school?

Introducing: the buienradar

“The what?” I hear you ask? It’s called the buienradar, or cloud radar in English. It’s a fantastic real-time cloud observation technology that is now available to us ordinary people.

It’s actually been available for years already, but for some reason, people are always happy when I tell them to use this in case of typical Belgian weather.

Here’s how to use it: In a second tab or browser window, go to The site is pretty self-explanatory, even though it’s in Dutch.buienradar

The whole idea is that you can see the clouds moving in real-time. You can see where they come from and where they are (most likely) going. What I always do when I need to go out between now and 60-90 minutes is to pinpoint Brussels and see what happens with the clouds. You can choose between 1, 3 and 24 hours forecast.

That 1 hour is pretty precise; therefore you can hold off on putting on your jacket and getting your umbrella until the rain clouds are gone.

Pretty cool stuff, isn’t it?
They also have a useful app that you may want to install on your smartphone.

Example, on Tue 18/11/2016 at around 16h15 it was raining, so I checked the radar and noticed that it was going to be better just after 17h00. On the GIF below you see the blue dot for a split second at the Brussels area and can observe how the clouds are going to the East.

Long story short, because of this handy website I don’t even have to look outside at this very moment to put on my jacket and walk to my son’s school with full confidence that I am / we are not going to get soaked 🙂

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