06 November 2022, by Victoria Séveno

After an unseasonably warm October, meteorologists are warning that rising temperatures and climate change mean the chances of the Netherlands enjoying a white Christmas or elfstedentocht are looking increasingly unlikely.

Warm weather in October set new Dutch weather records

So far, the Netherlands has experienced an exceptionally warm autumn season. Throughout the month of October, temperatures remained extremely mild, occasionally soaring above the 20-degree mark. 

Last weekend, as the clocks turned back and the country switched over to winter time, the Dutch weather actually broke a number of national weather records. According to the Dutch Weather Institute (KNMI), last Friday was the warmest October 28 on record. Temperatures rose to as high as 23,5 degrees in Maastricht, breaking the 2005 record of 22,5 degrees. 

The unseasonably warm weather lasted several days, rising to above 20 degrees in De Bilt – a town near Utrecht and home to the KNMI – for three days in a row. This marked the first time the Netherlands recorded three official warm days in a row in October, and brought the tally for 2022 up to 112, putting this year in third place behind 2018 (132) and 2003 (116). 

Can the Netherlands look forward to a white Christmas in 2022?

Now that November is here, forecasts are saying the Netherlands should prepare for a cooler and wetter month – and are warning that 2022 will likely bring another relatively mild winter. Does that mean we can already wave goodbye to our chances of seeing a white Christmas this year?

You might think it’s too early to even think about asking that question, but the reality is that the first Christmas markets and events are popping up across the country, and the holidays are really only just around the corner. 

Over at Buienradar, Maurice Middendorp has said people really shouldn’t get their hopes up this year, adding that a white Christmas or weather cold enough for the elusive elfstedentocht is looking increasingly unlikely. “Cold winters are becoming rarer. It will change to a longer autumn and therefore the chance of the elfstedentocht and a white Christmas decreases,” he told RTL Nieuws.

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