Spring might be here, but you wouldn’t know it from looking at the Dutch weather. While there have been a couple of milder and sunnier days, on the whole, the past several weeks have seen a lot of grey skies and rain clouds. In fact, figures reveal that last month was the wettest April the Netherlands has seen in 25 years. 

Cold temperatures and grey skies in the Netherlands

As the Dutch say, april doet wat hij wil (“April does what it wants”), and the weather over the past couple of weeks has certainly proven this statement to be true. According to Weerplaza, April 2023 was colder and wetter than average, while at the same time the month brought temperatures below zero and above 20 degrees in some parts of the country. 

At the home of the Dutch Weather Institute (KNMI) in De Blit, temperatures dipped to a low of -2,8 degrees on April 4. Fast forward to April 22, and towns near the eastern border enjoyed temperatures of as high as 21,6 degrees. 

Overall, the Netherlands recorded an average temperature of 8,8 degrees last month, compared to the April average of 9,9 degrees. This marks the third year in a row that the country has experienced a colder-than-average April. 

Dutch weather changeable and unpredictable in 2023

In addition to varied temperatures, April saw a notable amount of rain. While Weerplaza explains that, with an average of just 41 millimetres of precipitation, April is normally one of the driest months of the year, last month most of the Netherlands saw between 70 and 100 millimetres of rain. Some towns and cities, including Hengelo and Purmerend, recorded over 100 millimetres of precipitation. 

In addition to being cold and wet, April 2023 was grey and gloomy; Weerplaza reports there were just 185 hours of sunshine, compared to the monthly average of 196. This marks the first time since 2018 that the Netherlands has seen less than 200 hours of sunshine in April, with 2020 setting a new record with a whopping 287 sunny hours. 

While the northern- and southernmost regions were the driest in April, coastal areas saw the most sunshine. The southeast, on the other hand, saw some of the least sunshine: Eindhoven and Maastricht recorded just 170 to 175 hours of sunshine throughout the entire month.

Thumb: Rob McEnaney via Shutterstock.com.

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