2014: The Netherlands’ warmest year in three centuries
The Royal Netherlands Meteorological Institute (Koninklijk Nederlands Meteorologisch Instituut), KNMI, has announced that 2014 has been the Netherlands’ warmest year since records began in 1706.
2014: average temperature
The average temperature in the Netherlands in 2014 - based on weather conditions in De Bilt, a town in the Utrecht province - was 11,5 degrees Celsius. The "normal" average temperature is 10,1 degrees, according to KNMI.
2014 has been significantly warmer than 2006 or 2007, years that previously broke records on account of their mildness.
Interestingly, 2014 has been crowned the warmest year on record despite an unexceptional summer. There was no summer heatwave, the month of August brought particularly disappointing weather and during the warmest season few days made it past the 25 degrees Celsius mark.
However, virtually every month in 2014 - with August being the only exception - was warmer than average.
2014: winter no-show
The record-breaking "warmth" of 2014 is being attributed to a particularly mild winter, rather than to a scorching summer.
The winter season at the start of 2014 was exceptionally balmy, with many parts of the country not having experienced any frost in the early months of the year.
KNMI has added that even if the temperature plummets in the last two weeks of the year, it will have little effect and 2014 will remain the warmest year of the past three centuries.
Global warming in the Netherlands
The record-breaking mildness of 2014 has been accredited to warm southerly winds, but it has also been held up as evidence of climate change in the Netherlands.
Already, the current average temperature in the Netherlands is 1,6 degrees Celsius warmer than it was one century ago. In a KNMI report released in early 2014, it was predicted that the average temperature could rise between 1,0 and 2,3 degrees Celsius before 2050, and that by 2085 the average temperature could be up to 3,7 degrees higher than it was at the start of the twentieth century.
Within the same report, KNMI also predicted that the Netherlands’ winters will get increasingly warmer - but also wetter.