Radar and lightning detection

The Jabbeke weather radar

You can still download the press file that was distributed during the inauguration of the radar.


The Jabbeke radar is a dual-polarization C-band Doppler radar, owned and operated by the Royal Meteorological Institute of Belgium. The antenna, the transmitter and the receiver are installed on top of a concrete tower of 46m height. The radar became fully operational in July 2013.


Construction and installation

Below you can watch a nice movie of the construction of the radar and the delicate operation of the installation on top of the concrete tower on June 13, 2012.



The official inauguration took place on September 19, 2012, in the presence of the Minister of Science Policy, Paul Magnette. Also the Secretary of State for Public Buildings, Servais Verherstraeten, the Secretary of State for Civil Service, Hendrik Bogaert, the Governor of the province of West Flanders, Carl Decaluwé, and the maire of Jabbeke, Daniël Vanhessche, were present on this historic day for the RMI.


The minister (middle) and the two secretaries of state standing next to the plaque commemorating the inauguration.


The radar of Jabbeke performs a complete volume scan every 5 minutes consisting of 15 elevations. The scan combines both reflectivity and Doppler elevations. The lower elevations are either reflectivity-only elevations (up to 300km) or reflectivity+velocity elevations up to 150km. The higher elevations are all combined reflectivity+velocity elevations up to 150km.

Using this strategy, it is possible to generate reflectivity images up to 300km and velocity images up to 150km with a frequency of 5 minutes.

Raw data are transferred in real-time to the meteorological center in Brussels where various products are generated. Since the radar is equipped with a dual-polarisation capability, a wider range of products is generated. Below is an example of the "Echotype Classification" (ET) product which determines the type of the scattering particles, based on the dual-polariations quantities and using a fuzzy-logic scheme. The image below concerns a snow episode in Belgium on December 07, 2012. The ET product correctly assigns the snow class to the detected precipitation.


The Echotype Classification (ET) product for a snow episode in Belgium on December 07, 2012.