Short-term weather forecast
Operational weather radars are primarily used for the very short term forecast of precipitation. Radars allow real-time observation of precipitation over a wide coverage as well as the anticipation of the displacement of precipitation. Radars have become a key observation tool in all operational weather services.
Radar observations are used as a complement to rain gauge measurements for the a posteriori analysis of severe precipitation events. Such analyses belong to the official tasks assigned to RMI when damages are caused by weather phenomena. These analyses are done under request of the Natural Disaster Fund (Fonds des calamités/Rampenfonds).
Hydrology and water management
Radar precipitation estimates are ingested in the operational hydrological forecasting systems used for flood prediction and warning. Regional entities are responsible for the hydrological forecasts in Belgium.
- In Flanders, radar observations are used in the flood forecasting system for unnavigable waterways operated by the Flemish Environmental Agency (VMM). The real-time forecasts are available on "overstromingsvoorspeller.be"
- In Wallonia, the operational riverflow forecasting is produced with the Hydromax application. A new version of Hydromax ingesting radar precipitation estimates has been recently developed. Information on the state of the waterways and the risk of flooding is available on line.
- In Brussels, radar observations are used by the water management authorities for the a posteriori analysis of severe events. A specific radar-gauge product at a 1-hour time step has been developed for that purpose.
Decision support systems for winter road maintenance make use of radar images for the monitoring and the very short term prediction of snow falls.