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Tuesday 19 October, 16:24

History of the BMCB

 

On September 8th, 2019 Luc Trullemans created the facebookgroup called “Meteo Club Belge”, mainly focussed on people which are really interested in meteorology and climatology.

The start of everything... Michael Bleret with his first weather station ‘Mobile Alert’

During May 2020, Luc Trullemans together with Michael Bleret, two passionate meteorologists, started discussions about some wellknown cold spots in the Ardennes region. These places will gradually form the base of the “CMB”-network, equipped with automatic Mobile-Alert temperature devices. Drawback of these devices: they need wifi to transmit their data.

It was known that during nocturnal radiative cooling - bright nights with little wind - temperatures can seriously drop in some valleys of the Ardennes, such as Kuchelscheid (eastern part of belgium). At that time Kuchelscheid was known as the coldest place in our country under such circumstances.

During late spring, temperature often drops below freezing point: on May 6th 2020, even a value of -4.4°C was observed!

Weather station Sensohive at Chêne (Luxemburg), meanwhile replaced by a Meteohelix

The question arose how many valleys in the Ardennes (but not only limited to the Ardennes, also elsewhere) face such low values when these typical weather conditions are in place.

A network was created which later became the BMCB-network.

The first weather station was installed at a location in one of the highest valleys of belgium, called Enkelberge Mühle, at an elevation of 580 meters in the valley of the Holzwarche (Rocherath).

Data was now available to compare this new place with the “cold” Kuchelscheid.

Shortly afterwards many amateur stations were installed at  Banmühle (Büllingen), Rettigny, Langlire, Schönberg, Neidingen, Recht, Deidenberg, Wirtzfeld, Wisembach, ...

They could prove how low temperatures can drop, but also how many people - not only a few - are getting affected by such low temperatures. 

After many nocturnal observations when heavy radiative cooling took place, they discovered Kuchelscheid is not “the” coldest spot, but only one of the many valleys in the Ardennes.

It was proven that temperatures at Deidenberg, Banmühle, Wirtzfeld, Chêne, Mürringen, Braunlauf and even Schönberg and Neidingen have often lower temperature readings, mainly during winter season.

Installation of a Meteohelix and MeteoWind on the Baraque de Fraiture

During this research they met several people which were also interested in these special conditions.

As such, Karel Holvoet, a real “cold-spot”-lover travels each year hundreds of kilometers to gather data of uninhabited areas. On the peatland of Elsenborn he measured -18.2°C during winter season 2020-2021…

This study brings an important added value to understand the behavior of air masses near the surface.

Finally, a more professional network was established with more and more weather stations installed all over the country around the already existing stations.

Today's stations now comply with WMO-standards (these are the famous "Barani" devices equipped with a "Professional MeteoShield").

These devices work completely independently on the Sigfox network and work on solar energy.

Installation of a Meteohelix at Braunlauf by Kristof Willemyns (on the left) and Karel Holvoet (on the right)

Many people are now part of the bilingual community, hence the name change to the "Belgische Meteo Club Belge (BCMB)". The network of stations continues to grow rapidly thanks to members such as Kristof Willemyns, Geert Vandenbrande, Pierre Decamps, ...

Many of the BMCB-observations are available on third party websites, for example "Meteociel", "Weather Underground", “HetWeerActueel”, “NoodweerBenelux”, "Meteobelgie"/"Meteobelgique" and shortly "InfoClimat".

Day after day, the network proves its usefulness during cold, radiative nights and several weather forecasters take the observations of the BMCB monitoring network into account.

But also in other situations, such as during warm sunny days, the urban weather stations will be very representative for a large part of the population.

All these values were compiled, made readable and usable on the BCMB website by Pierre Decamps and Robin & Geert Vandenbrande. The websites are also constantly evolving and expanding.

This is an example of great teamwork!

If you would like to join our network by purchasing Barani equipment, we would like to point out that we do not receive any compensation but prefer those stations that comply with WMO-regulations.

Meteohelix at Enkelberger Mühle (with Luc Trullemans), the station has been moved to Chêne

Luc Trullemans is the president of the club that will officially become a non-profit association later in 2021.

The "BCMB"-team

The observations of the BMCB-weather stations are available (with updates each 10 minutes) on: 

- https://bmcb.club
- https://meteo-be.net

Do you want to join our network? Or do you want to buy some Barani device(s)? You can contact us:

Placement of a modified ‘Mobile Alert’ (MA) by Michael Bleret. The modification: the MA-device is placed inside a Barani MeteoShield Professional. This additional radiation shield protects the MA from direct sunlight which now makes a reliable temperature measurement possible.
The Meteohelix at Mürringen (eastern part of Belgium at an elevation of 600+ meters). It is known as one of the cold places in our country where temperatures below 0°C can be measured (almost) throughout the year… 
Installation of a Frog IoT datalogger by Karel Holvoet at Grunen Kloster (Elsenborn).
Comparative test between a Sensohive weather station and the Barani Meteohelix at Mürringen…
After the work… time to relax!

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