January 2020 was one of the hottest winter months on record in the Netherlands

If before, Dutch winters were a thing to complain about precisely because they were cold, windy and wet, the current winter raised concerns due to its higher than normal temperatures. 

The temperatures are so high, that on some beaches in the Netherlands, the beach clubs are already being set up.

Comparisons to other winters

So far, the hottest month of January to occur on Dutch soil was back in 2007, when the average temperature was 6.6 degrees Celsius. 2019 was a much colder winter, with 4.6 degrees on average, a year in which there was also quite some snowfall. This year, however, the average of this winter was 6.2 degrees, making it one of the top three warmest winters, alongside the winter of 2016, which had an average temperature of 6.4 degrees.

This week: a warm January ending with a storm on the horizon

The weather throughout this week will remain calm and sunny, yet the end of the week will bring with it the first storm in a couple of months. There will be severe winds and rains, especially throughout Saturday and Sunday, and it will continue on throughout part of next week. William Huizinga, a meteorologist from Buienradaar considers the construction of beach tents as perhaps a bit premature, yet nevertheless, the temperature will remain high throughout February.

This month of January considered hottest winter month worldwide

Overall, this month has turned out to be globally the hottest month of January on record. In Europe at least, it has surely been the hottest month of January so far, with temperatures being especially high in north-eastern Europe, such as in Norway, where the temperature was 19 degrees in a western region, 25 degrees more than the normal average.

This has had a considerable effect on wildlife in different places, including the Netherlands. For example, ducklings have already hatched in some areas and salamanders have begun their migration routes much faster than usual. Migratory birds have also remained in the country when normally they would have migrated south, and pests like mice and mosquitos have shown up in higher numbers than usual. Even at our office in Leiden, we spotted some trees in bloom outside the building.

Blossming trees near our office (Source: Abuzer van Leeuwen)

Is a warm winter preferable to a cold and snowy one? Let us know in the comments.

Feature Image: tm/Wikimedia Commons

Vlad Moca-Grama
Vlad Moca-Grama
Vlad was born and raised in Brasov, Romania and came to the Hague to study. When he isn't spending time missing mountains or complaining about the lack of urban exploration locations in the Netherlands, you can find him writing at Dutch Review.


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