Signal de Botrange Belgium, Liège

Signal de Botrange

Signal de Botrange (German [outdated] Baldringen, Latin Sicco Campo) is the highest point in Belgium, located in the High Fens (Hautes Fagnes in French, Hoge Venen in Dutch, Hohes Venn in German), at 694 metres (2,277 ft). It is the top of a broad plateau and a road crosses the summit, passing an adjacent café. In 1923, the 6 m Baltia tower was built on the summit to allow visitors to reach an altitude of 700 m. A stone tower built in 1934 reaches 718 m.

For several decades a meteorological station was installed at signal Botrange. Since 1999, it was replaced by an automatic station of the Royal Meteorological Institute of Belgium installed on Mount Rigi (scientific station of the High Fens - University of Liege), which is between the signal and the house Baraque Michel.

Signal de Botrange experiences stronger winds than the centre of Belgium. Average and extreme temperatures are usually lower than at any other place in Belgium: the minimum temperature recorded (-25.6 °C) does not, however, exceed the absolute record (-30.1 °C), observed in the valley of the Lomme, at Rochefort during a temperature inversion. In winter, for three months, on average, the average temperature remains below 0 °C.

Rainfall is much greater than most of the rest of the country, at an annual average of 1450 mm compared with 800 mm in Uccle. Rainfall is also much more common: there are over 200 days of precipitation per year (against just over 170 in Uccle). Maximum temperatures in summer rarely exceed 30 °C. The number of days of frost is over 130 days per year and the number of days of snowfall exceeds 35 days. The maximum thickness of snow was measured on 9 February 1953, at 115 cm of snow. Frost and early snowfall can occur in late September, but that is exceptional. Late snow may sometimes occur until mid-May.

At the height of winter the site is used as the start of a number of cross-country skiing routes.