The weather in the Netherlands is unpredictable. You might be standing in the rain in your shorts one day, after doublechecking the temperature that same morning. Even if you think you found the perfect time to visit, the climate might still play some tricks on you. 

According to weatheronline, the weather in the Netherlands consists of cool summers and moderate winters, influenced by the North Sea and the Atlantic Ocean. In the winter, daytime temperatures vary from 2°C – 6 °C and 17 °C – 20 °C in the summer.

The truth is the weather in the Netherlands is so all over the place that we couldn’t just give you a temperature average. We have also given you the weather by month throughout different regions in the country, as well as everything else you need to know about the weather in the Netherlands year-round. We’re giving you everything you need – the ultimate guide to the weather in the Netherlands.

What to pack if you’re visiting the Netherlands by season

Source: giphy

What is the weather in the Netherlands like in Spring?

Spring is the best in the Netherlands! The weather is mild and the sun is usually out with temperatures averaging at 9 °C. It’s a perfect time to visit the tulip fields and to enjoy the cherry blossoms in Amstelveen!  Pack jeans, t-shirts, sweaters and a good jacket for when it gets cooler at night. Bring a pair of shorts in May because you might get lucky with the weather. Here are some things to do in the Netherlands in Spring.

Source: Pixabay

What is the weather in the Netherlands like in Summer?

The Netherlands is most busy with tourism during the summer, from June to August. This season is extremely sunny, with temperatures averaging at 17 °C. It’s the best time to explore some nature in Tilburg or enjoy free festival season. Pack light clothing like shorts and dresses, but make sure to bring some jeans and a sweater for the cooler nights. Don’t forget your sunscreen!

What is the weather in the Netherlands like in Autumn?

Autumn is a great time to visit the Netherlands, with sceneries like national parks looking amazing. From September to October in the Netherlands, the average temperatures are mild at 10 °C. Enjoy biking through Dutch forests and eat some traditional Dutch soup – very cozy! Take a look at our guide to autumn in the Netherlands for more. Similarly to Spring, pack jeans, t-shirts, sweaters and a good jacket for the colder days.

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Source: Pixabay

What is the weather in the Netherlands like in Winter?

Winter is the coldest and windiest season of the year with the least hours of sunshine. The original 50 shades of grey, the winter weather in the Netherlands is a time to avoid unless you enjoy freezing. There’s a chance of snow and freezing temperatures at an average of 3 °C. On a very cold day, enjoy some apple pie and hot chocolate in Amsterdam at Winkel 43. Pack socks, a heavy coat, warm shoes and many sweaters as wearing layers is crucial. I would also bring a small umbrella and bring it with me everywhere the weather in the Netherlands rapidly changes.

Source: Pixabay

Does it snow in the Netherlands?

It doesn’t snow in the Netherlands very often, but if you’re very lucky you might see some snow in the Winter. It snows an average of around 20 days per year in the Netherlands, which is pretty low. The Netherlands is particularly charming covered in snow and although this is hard to predict, makes for dreamlike sceneries.

Source: Flickr/Anne Helmond

Can you ice skate in the frozen canals in winter?

Natural ice skating in canals all over the Netherlands is a unique experience you won’t want to miss. Usually, temperatures need to be lower than –4°C for various nights in a row before anyone can ice skate in the canals. However, climate change might get in the way of this as the increase in temperatures is causing fewer canals to freeze.

Still, if you’re lucky (or unlucky) enough to see such low temperatures, you might get a chance to ice skate in a frozen canal. For weather and information on natural ice skating in the Netherlands, take a look at www.natuurijswijzer.n for some help.

Goals/source: giphy

Impact of climate change on weather in the Netherlands

Climate change adds to the unpredictability of Dutch weather. According to experts, temperatures have risen by 0.8 °C worldwide since 1900. In the Netherlands, it has increased by 1.7 °C and heat waves are reoccurring.

This has caused the Netherlands to possibly never have an “Elfstedentocht” (Eleven cities tour) again, as canals and rivers are no longer frozen for ice skaters to enjoy due to an increase in temperature. Climate change has also caused increased rainfall as most of the Dutch have noticed. In addition, climate change has had an impact in growing seasons of plants as these are now blooming earlier than usual, due to the warmer temperatures in spring.

The Dutch government’s climate policy aims to reduce greenhouse gas emissions as these negatively impact the climate, food crops, and water levels. In June 2018, a Climate Act law was passed, calling for a 49% reduction in greenhouse gas emissions by 2030 and a 95% reduction by 2050.

At a personal level, there are also many things you can do to help combat climate change and its impact on the weather in the Netherlands. These include reducing your waste, eating less meat and sustainable transport – thankfully the Dutch are good at this.

source:giphy

Weather records in the Netherlands

The weather in the Netherlands is all over the place and its meteorological history has seen some crazy stuff. However, recently, all of the records have been related to the Netherlands getting warmer and not colder, due to the effects of climate change, as seen in the graph below.

Netherlands Weather Records / Source: Datagraver and the KNMI

The past summer was the hottest in 300 years and the hottest day ever was July 26, 2018, where temperatures reached 38°C. 2018 also had 2,022 hours of sunshine, 400 over the average, making it the year with the most sunshine hours ever recorded. Whereas last summer’s heatwave lasted 6 days, the longest heatwave in the Netherlands was in July of 1975 with 18 days. The coldest period was in January of 1942 with an average of – 11.3°C. Also, the heaviest storm was on September 7th, 1942 with winds measuring at 122 km/h. This is classified as a category one hurricane.

Weather in the Netherlands by month

The Netherlands by region/ source: Wikipedia

Northern Netherlands: Groningen, Friesland, Drenthe
Eastern Netherlands: Overijssel, Gelderland, Flevoland
Western Netherlands: Utrecht, North Holland, South Holland, Zeeland
Southern Netherlands: North Brabant, Limburg


What is the weather in the Netherlands like in January?

January is the coldest and windiest month in the Netherlands. Although most areas average per day reaches 30 – 50 mm, Utrecht in the Western Netherlands has the highest rainfall with 70 mm per day.

Region Average Temperature (°C) Average Rainfall per day (mm) Average wind speed (km/h)
Northern Netherlands 3 °C 30 – 45 mm 20 km/h
Eastern Netherlands 4 °C 45 mm 15 – 20 km/h
Western Netherlands 4 °C 40 – 70 mm 15 – 20 km/h
Southern Netherlands 3 °C 35 – 50 mm 15 km/h

What is the weather in the Netherlands like in February?

February isn’t much better, with rainfall and little sunshine. Temperatures remain extremely low but winds are mild.

Region Average Temperature (°C) Average Rainfall per day (mm) Average wind speed (km/h)
Northern Netherlands 3 °C 20 – 35 mm 15 – 20 km/h
Eastern Netherlands 4 °C 35 – 40 mm 15 – 20 km/h
Western Netherlands 4 °C 35 – 55 mm 15 – 20 km/h
Southern Netherlands 4 °C 30 – 40 mm 15 km/h

What is the weather in the Netherlands like in March?

A slight temperature increase in March, but not much change.

Region Average Temperature (°C) Average Rainfall per day (mm) Average wind speed (km/h)
Northern Netherlands 6 °C 20 – 35 mm 10 – 20 km/h
Eastern Netherlands 6 °C 30 – 40 mm 15 – 20 km/h
Western Netherlands 6 °C 35 – 55 mm 10 – 20 km/h
Southern Netherlands 6 °C 30 – 40 mm 15 km/h

What is the weather in the Netherlands like in April?

There’s some hope for April as average temperatures increase by 3 °C. April also has less rainy days and mild wind. But let’s not get too excited because, in the Netherlands, April does what it wants. Sometimes it won’t feel like Spring.

Region Average Temperature (°C) Average Rainfall per day (mm) Average wind speed (km/h)
Northern Netherlands 9 °C 15 – 30 mm 10 – 15 km/h
Eastern Netherlands 9 °C 25 – 30 mm 15 – 20 km/h
Western Netherlands 9 °C 25 – 30 mm 10 – 15 km/h
Southern Netherlands 10 °C 25 – 30 mm 10 – 15 km/h

What is the weather in the Netherlands like in May?

In May, tulips and cherry blossoms bloom all over the Netherlands and the sun shines causing average temperatures to increase by 3 °C. Rain is back though, around 25 – 40 mm per day, but once again Utrecht faces an average of 70 mm.

Region Average Temperature (°C) Average Rainfall per day (mm) Average wind speed (km/h)
Northern Netherlands 12 °C 25 – 35 mm 10 – 15 km/h
Eastern Netherlands 13 °C 35 – 40 mm 15 – 20 km/h
Western Netherlands 13 °C 30 – 70 mm 10 – 15 km/h
Southern Netherlands 13 °C 30 – 40 mm 10 – 15 km/h

What is the weather in the Netherlands like in June?

The first month of summer is warmer in the Nothern Netherlands, with temperatures averaging at 19 °C. The rest of the country is also relatively warm and sunshine is out all month.

Region Average Temperature (°C) Average Rainfall per day (mm) Average wind speed (km/h)
Northern Netherlands 19 °C 30 – 40 mm 10 – 15 km/h
Eastern Netherlands 15 °C 40 – 45 mm 10 – 15 km/h
Western Netherlands 15 °C 40 – 55 mm 10 – 15 km/h
Southern Netherlands 16 °C 35 – 45 mm 10 – 15 km/h

What is the weather in the Netherlands like in July?

Weirdly enough for most Europeans – July is the month in the Netherlands where it rains the most. Average rainfall per day is at 40 – 60 mm with once again 95 mm in Utrecht. It’s also one of the hottest months averaging at around 18 °C.

Region Average Temperature (°C) Average Rainfall per day (mm) Average wind speed (km/h)
Northern Netherlands 17 °C 45 – 50 mm 10 – 15 km/h
Eastern Netherlands 18 °C 55 – 60 mm 10 – 15 km/h
Western Netherlands 18 °C 50 – 95 mm 10 – 15 km/h
Southern Netherlands 18 °C 45 – 60 mm 10 – 15 km/h

What is the weather in the Netherlands like in August?

You might get a few sunnier days in August, but it’s pretty much the same as July.

Region Average Temperature (°C) Average Rainfall per day (mm) Average wind speed (km/h)
Northern Netherlands 17 °C 50 – 60 mm 10 – 15 km/h
Eastern Netherlands 18 °C 55 – 60 mm 10 – 15 km/h
Western Netherlands 18 °C 50 – 90 mm 10 – 15 km/h
Southern Netherlands 18 °C 45 – 55 mm 10 km/h

What is the weather in the Netherlands like in September?

In September, temperatures begin to decrease as Autumn approaches. Wind and rainfall decrease slightly.

Region Average Temperature (°C) Average Rainfall per day (mm) Average wind speed (km/h)
Northern Netherlands 14 °C 30 – 50 mm 10 – 15 km/h
Eastern Netherlands 15 °C 45 – 50 mm 10 – 15 km/h
Western Netherlands 15 °C 50 – 65 mm 10 – 15 km/h
Southern Netherlands 15 °C 35 – 45 mm 10 km/h

What is the weather in the Netherlands like in October?

The rain picks back up in October, particularly in the Eastern and Western Netherlands. The cold also returns with an average temperature decrease of around 4 °C.

Region Average Temperature (°C) Average Rainfall per day (mm) Average wind speed (km/h)
Northern Netherlands 11 °C 35 – 50 mm 10 – 15 km/h
Eastern Netherlands 11 °C 50 – 60 mm 15 – 20 km/h
Western Netherlands 11 °C 55 – 85 mm 10 – 20 km/h
Southern Netherlands 11 °C 35 – 50 mm 10 – 15 km/h

What is the weather in the Netherlands like in November?

Another 4 °C decrease happens in from October to November as the winter sets in. Despite the cold temperatures, rain and wind do not increase just yet.

Region Average Temperature (°C) Average Rainfall per day (mm) Average wind speed (km/h)
Northern Netherlands 7 °C 25 – 50 mm 10 – 15 km/h
Eastern Netherlands 7 °C 50 – 55 mm 15 – 20 km/h
Western Netherlands 7 °C 50 – 75 mm 15 – 20 km/h
Southern Netherlands 7 °C 35 – 55 mm 10 – 15 km/h

What is the weather in the Netherlands like in December?

In December, the average temperature is of 4 °C, almost at freezing cold levels. Rain increases slightly in all regions.

Region Average Temperature (°C) Average Rainfall per day (mm) Average wind speed (km/h)
Northern Netherlands 4 °C 30 – 50 mm 15 – 20 km/h
Eastern Netherlands 4 °C 50 – 55 mm 15 – 20 km/h
Western Netherlands 4 °C 50 – 80 mm 10 – 15 km/h
Southern Netherlands 4 °C 35 – 55 mm 15 km/h

 

7 Dutch sayings about the weather

The Dutch love to bitch about the weather, it’s a cultural phenomenon. So much that they have several sayings on the weather. Some that need deciphering.

#1 Na regen komt weer zonneschijn

This translates to “after rain comes sunshine again”. I feel like Dutch winters don’t work like this, but would be nice. Let’s start saying it for good luck.

#2 April doet wat hij wil

This translates to “April does what it wants”. Very suitable for this year. And every year for that matter.

#3 Maart roert zn staart

This translates to “March stirs its tail!”. After translating it into English, I still didn’t understand it. Turns out, it’s making fun of how the weather is always changing in March. Pretty sure that’s every month in the Netherlands, though. 

#4 Het weer is maar naatje

This translates to “the weather is buttcrack”. Weird, right? I asked someone at the office and they said this word might sound inappropriate, but it’s actually a word a grandma would use.

#5 Nederland heeft geen climaat, alleen maar weer

This translates to “the Netherlands has no climate, only weather”. This is literally the most accurate saying on the weather in the Netherlands. It is so unpredictable, it barely has a climate.

#6 Het regent pijpestelen

This translates to “its raining cats and dogs”. I think this saying exists in every language so I don’t need to explain it. But it really doesn’t make any sense.

#7 Het is hondeweer

This translates to “its dog weather”. Do weather sayings hate animals?

Best time to visit the Netherlands

The best time to visit is fully dependant on the weather in the Netherlands. The Netherlands is filled with tourists in July and August when the weather is warmer. However, in the summer months, it tends to rain the most. This is also an extremely busy time in the main cities, causing long queues and large groups of people in tourist attractions.

If you don’t mind cold weather, the Netherlands is also lovely in Autumn and Winter. In Autumn, as tree leaves turn brown and yellow, the nature in the Netherlands is a beautiful sight. In Winter, particularly in the rare occasions where it snows, Amsterdam and the canals are also lovely to explore.

However, to avoid peak tourism, but to still enjoy warm weather, Spring is the best time to visit the Netherlands. Although temperatures are not as warm as in the Summer, there is a lot less rain. This is also a time where there is so much going on in the Netherlands. From exploring tulip season to celebrating Kings Day, the Netherlands has lots to offer.

Dutch weather got us crazy/source: giphy

You might get lucky in Spring or Summer, but the weather is beyond unpredictable. If you’re considering moving here or just visiting, get ready for a  weather rollercoaster. I think April’s weather is proof of this. At the beginning of the month, there was a chance of snow as temperatures dropped. However, just a few days later, temperatures will increase to 20°C and this was expected to last. But who can really trust that, right? It didn’t last at all.

I still don’t really understand Dutch weather and I’m sure even the scientists at the Meteorological Institute secretly find it a mystery. But hopefully, this guide has helped you decipher the enigma of Dutch weather. 

Any good Dutch sayings about the weather? Let us know in the comments, below!

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