Historic winter weather: Will the Netherlands see these weather phenomena?

Historic winter weather: Will the Netherlands see these weather phenomena?

The weather conditions in the Netherlands over the past days have been described as historic, with few people remembering such cold, snowy and icy conditions taking over the country for such a long period of time.

Chance of rare winter phenomena in the Netherlands?

The so-called “cold invasion” the Netherlands is experiencing this week is extremely rare: the combination of heavy snowfall, very low temperatures, and bitter winds is “only experienced by an average person a few times in their life,” according to meteorologist Alfred Snoek. 

Considering the fact that this weather is so unusual means that many are starting to wonder whether they can look forward to any other naturally-occurring weather phenomena - beyond the canals freezing over. 

Temperatures in the Netherlands have settled at around -2 or -3 degrees during the day, dropping to as low as -15 degrees overnight. Thanks to these absolutely freezing temperatures, there are a handful of natural delights that you might be lucky enough to experience over the coming days. 

Diamond dust & Light pillars

For example, we might be lucky enough to see diamond dust, which can occur on days where the sky is completely clear of clouds and low ground temperatures meet slightly warmer and more humid air to create ice crystals, giving the sun a magical halo.

Or, if extremely lucky, the Netherlands might see light pillars in the sky - an optical illusion which can occur when light reflects off of tiny ice crystals in the air. If neither of these phenomena occur, you can always create your own: take a cup of hot water, throw it out into the icy air, and watch what happens.

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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