Dataset Open Access

Observational rainfall data of the 2021 mid-July flood event in Belgium – Part 2. Radar product RADFLOOD21

Goudenhoofdt, Edouard; Journée, Michel; Delobbe, Laurent

From July 13th to 16th 2021, a long period of sustained and heavy rainfall affected Central Europe producing extreme rainfall amounts in western Germany, eastern Belgium, Luxembourg and The Netherlands. In Belgium, this unusual event induced massive flooding on a large part of the country and was responsible for 39 fatalities and strong damages to buildings and infrastructures.

Such extremely rare event needs to be documented as much as possible and data must be made available for further studies in hydrology, in urban planning and, more generally, in all multi-disciplinary studies aiming at identifying and understanding all factors leading to such disaster.

The observational rainfall data available for Belgium during the period from July 13th to July 16th 2021 are here shared with the scientific community. These data are twofold and provided in 2 parts:

Part 1. Observations from high-quality rain gauges

The dataset includes daily precipitation accumulation recorded by 323 weighing and manual rain gauges in Belgium as well as 5-min precipitation data recorded by 168 weighing rain gauges. These data were checked for possible errors and inconsistencies.

The rain gauges observations are provided in csv format in 2 files:

  • RainGaugesData_FLOOD21_daily.csv
  • RainGaugesData_FLOOD21_5min.csv

Part 2. Radar-based quantitative precipitation estimation (RADFLOOD21)

This product provides a quantitative precipitation estimation of the event at high spatial (i.e., 1 km) and temporal (i.e., 5 min and hourly) resolutions. It is obtained after a careful processing of the weather radar measurements and a merging with rain gauge measurements. The data is provided in hdf5 format. In addition, an animation of the 5-min RADFLOOD21 data is also made available.


These data are exposed and discussed in In particular, several analyses of these data are performed to describe the spatial and temporal distribution of rainfall during the event and to illustrate its exceptional character.


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  • Journée, M., Goudenhoofdt, E., Vannitsem, S., and Delobbe, L.: Quantitative rainfall analysis of the 2021 mid-July flood event in Belgium, EGUsphere [preprint],, 2023.

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