Storms strike across the country, bringing the heatwave to an end

Storms strike across the country, bringing the heatwave to an end

Huge storms struck all across the Netherlands on Sunday, August 16, marking the end of the heatwave and tropical temperatures enjoyed last week. 

Code orange weather warning

Almost the whole country had been issued a code orange for severe weather by the Royal Netherlands Meteorological Institute (KNMI). Thunderstorms, heavy rain, strong winds of up to 75 kilometres per hour, and even hail showers travelled across the Netherlands, from south to north, causing damage in several areas. 

There were a number of reports of damage as a result of the storm issued in towns and cities up and down the country. Several streets in Limburg were flooded on Sunday afternoon, and in Breda, a family got a fright when a tree collapsed onto their car. The region of Twente in the east of the Netherlands is believed to have been the worst hit, as lightning struck homes in both Helmond and Hengelo.

In North Holland, the heavy rain led to flooding in a number of places, including Haarlem, Heemstede, IJmuiden, Beverwijk and Hoorn. In Haarlem, a tunnel under a railway viaduct was flooded, and viaducts in Beverwijk and IJmuiden were both closed due to the dangerous weather. In the province of Utrecht, trees fell on houses in Leusden and Woudenberg, and the security region received several reports of storm damage. 

Storm flood Kerkrade

Flooding in Kerkrade, Limburg. Source: NOS Jeugdjournaal

Thunderstorms in Amsterdam

Storms also struck the Dutch capital. While the damage in Amsterdam was limited, the sky was lit up by lightning. 

All air traffic at Schiphol was put on hold at two separate points on Sunday evening. Some planes were forced to fly in circles over Flevoland and South Holland until they were able to land safely. One KLM flight from Rome was diverted to Groningen Airport following several failed attempts to land. 

The end of Dutch summer?

National storms had been expected throughout much of last week, as temperatures consistently soared well above 30 degrees in the first official heatwave of 2020. The KNMI went from issuing a code orange warning for high temperatures, to a code orange for severe storms. 

Sunday’s storms have, for the time being, brought an end to the tropical temperatures. Temperatures are now expected to stay between 22 and 26 degrees for most of this week, with temperatures potentially rising heading into the weekend. 

There may still be some rain showers on Monday, August 17, however luckily the code orange - meaning there is a great risk of dangerous or extreme weather - is no longer in place. 

Victoria Séveno


Victoria Séveno

Victoria grew up in Amsterdam, before moving to the UK to study English and Related Literature at the University of York and completing her NCTJ course at the Press Association...

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