April 2021: The Netherlands’ coldest April in 35 years

April 2021: The Netherlands’ coldest April in 35 years

Thinking back to this time last year, the first coronavirus lockdown saw sunny skies and unseasonably warm temperatures. However, 2021 is looking very different. The weather this year has already been unusual and unpredictable - with snow over Easter and record-breaking warmth in February

April may have seen a decent amount of sunshine, however, the temperatures left much to be desired. In fact, with an average temperature of only 6,7 degrees, last month was the coldest April the Netherlands has seen since way back in 1986.

The Netherlands' coldest April since 1986

According to Weerplaza, April 2021 was more than 3,2 degrees colder than normal, a stark comparison to the mild Aprils the Netherlands saw in 2018, 2019 and 2020. In fact, for the first time since 1997, the temperatures recorded in De Bilt - a town near Utrecht and home to the Dutch Weather Institute - remained below 20 degrees for the whole month.

Things are looking up for May though: Weeronline expects that this month should see at least a couple of days where temperatures soar above 20 degrees, but that there is a high chance of rain showers and even thunderstorms. 

April 2021: Sunny, dry, and unpredictable weather

The traditional saying April doet wat hij wil (“April does what he wants”) was definitely applicable this year. Last month saw a significant number of so-called frost days, when the temperature drops below freezing at an altitude of 1,5 metres. At Eelde Airport, a total of 18 frost days were recorded - triple the number normally seen in April.

In spite of the cool temperatures, April was surprisingly sunny, with a total of 224 hours of sunshine compared to the average of 196 making it the twelfth sunniest April ever recorded. Still, 2021 hasn’t broken the record April 2020 set with a whopping 287 hours of sunshine.

April was also relatively dry. While the first half of the month saw snow, hail, rain and sleet, things started to calm down after April 16. An average of around 38 millimetres of precipitation fell across the Netherlands, slightly less than the average of 41 millimetres.

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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