Posts Tagged With: Weather

Anyone up for some Sinterklaas sweets? (Or: Albert Heijn offerings)

One of the local Albert Heijns has an entire wall display for Sinterklaas sweets:

Think of things like speculaas with almond filling (cakieshq.com), spiced kruidnoten cookies (thespruceeats.com) and the softer pepernoten cookies (allrecipes.com).

Autumn arrived at the end of September, bringing a lot of rain and cold with it. If you are not paying attention, you will get caught in a sudden downpour that soaks you and then dissipates within 10 minutes. Marco and I also still need to try the yearly traditional of oliebollen, as I mentioned in a previous blog post. Soon!

At least the weather looks a bit drier this week, even if the warmth of summer is gone.

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Upcoming clouds (Or: Plein 1813)

Here is a photo of the Plein 1813 monument just outside of The Hague’s city centre. If you take tram 1 to the Scheveningen beach you will ride past it, as the tram lines pass by on either side.

The slightly darkening clouds are a bit of a warning for the weather this week, although this photo is from a few weeks ago. It rained and thundered so long yesterday that I delayed my near-daily trip to the grocery store until after work. There was one moment of thunder – hitting right as I stood by a slightly ajar kitchen window – that made me jump. In a good way. Today it poured while Marco and I were making dinner, and it provided a lovely backdrop of noise. But there is more rain than not this week, with cooler temperatures hanging on for a while. It’s a bit crazy to realize when parts of the US are experiencing temperatures closer to 36C (100F). We are lucky if we hit 20C (68F).

In other news, all from the English site dutchnews.nl this time:

Panamanian ship carries massive dead whale to port of Terneuzen. The sperm whale was so large the ship didn’t even notice until they pulled into port. Yikes.

Dyke breach in Zuid Holland, was it cows or crayfish? American crayfish are definitely turning into a huge pest in the Netherlands. With no natural predators, their population is growing quickly.

Two more Dutch sites added to Unesco cultural heritage list. The Hollands Waterlinie defence lines were also recently added to the list.

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Another world (Or: Flash flooding in southeast Netherlands)

It has been quite rainy in the Netherlands this week. Today was no different – highs were around 16C/60F with showers off and on the whole day. And nearby Scheveningen was host to one of the most dangerous forms of lightning strikes this past Saturday (article from nltimes.nl). It was indeed rather loud.

Last night there was a storm hanging over Germany, the southeast part of the Netherlands and Belgium. And it decided to just sit there for hours, pouring down rain. See this tweet:

And another tweet can be found here.

In other news:

[Dutch] Broadcaster apologizes for Nazi subtitle reference during Euro’s Germany anthem from nltimes.nl. Opps?

Video of 15 year old driving Limburg train under investigation from nltimes.nl. I want to say “Opps?” here too, except that this one was actually deliberate…

Click here if you want to see what an exploded work/service bus looks like (regio15.nl). The police are working on the theory that it was due to a gas canister inside the bus exploding. The driver was seriously injured (rumor is he was getting into the vehicle when it happened) and 20 houses have exploded windows, but it could have been worse.

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Lazy Saturdays (Or: Dreary walks in rain)

As the blog title implies, we’re in a bit of a wet spell at the moment. Which is actually a good thing – for the first time since 2018, no part of the Netherlands is experiencing drought conditions. See this article in Dutch at nos.nl: Regen en lage temperaturen maken eind aan droogte or see this “Drought monitor” chart at KNMI in Dutch. The chart does still show we have to be careful, though. The black line at the bottom left is this year, and it is similar to 2018 (the grey line) which had a wet spring that turned into an extremely dry summer, rivaled only by the record year 1976 (red).

Another cause for optimism – hospital intakes and the number of corona cases continue to fall, with numbers not seen since mid March. Hopefully the planned relaxations for step 2 of the “opening plan” can go ahead next week (government.nl in English). Of course, it is always a balancing act since relaxations will lead to more infections, so hopefully the number of vaccinations administered will help with that. We are currently doing about a million a week.

In other news: First night train from Amsterdam to Vienna departs on May 25 from nltimes.nl. It is a sleeper train; the route takes 14 hours (19:30 departure from Amsterdam, 09:19 arrival in Vienna).

Den Haag zet zich schrap voor renovatie Binnenhof: ‘Het gebied moet interessant blijven’ from omroepwest.nl. After this summer the Binnenhof will close for 5 and a half years for a large renovation. I will miss being able to walk through it. The article talks about a few activities the city will organize to help keep the area interesting for tourists, including a lookout point that will allow people to see the construction from above.

It also talks about guided tours and a focus on archaeology. My favorite archaeology-after-construction area is the artifacts found during the construction of the tram tunnel. They left some in the floor under glass for commuters to view whenever they wanted.

“Around the table” artifacts at the Grote Markt tram stop, dated to the 17th century. Here’s hoping the Binnenhof construction reveals similar finds.

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Hail with a bit of snow (Or: Crazy weather in The Hague)

Cold weather is definitely on the menu the last few days. Days after historic warmth, Europe braces for shocking blast of cold, snow from washingtonpost.com.

I wouldn’t call what we got “lots of snow” per se, more a mix of hail and slush. Heavy on the hail part.

It is sort of weird weather where it is dozens of tiny storms flashing across the country, so you might have 2 minutes of hail, then 45 minutes of nothing and grayish skies, 5 minutes of vibrant blue skies and then another 2 minutes of hail. I was woken up early this morning at 03:45 to extremely loud hail smashing against the window. Marco slept through it all, of course!

The cold arctic blast also means that when the clouds disappear, you get to see lovely blue skies. Briefly. For a moment. See also this tweet:

Kind of cool if you ask me.

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Start of another week (Or: Happy Monday, everyone)

Tomorrow there will be a press conference to go over the current status of the corona measures, as usually happens one week before their possible end date. There are a lot of rumors of course – curfew extended for three weeks, hairdressers allowed to open, middle schools allowed to go to school one or two times a week, etc. But it is always best to wait and see what is officially said tomorrow evening rather than to speculate already. Technically the corona situation is not good enough to allow hairdressers to open again, but I think the decision was influenced by the fact that hairdressers are reopening in both Belgium and parts of Germany. Tomorrow evening should be interesting.

In other news:

Tenant ordered to vacate apartment for howling like a wolf from nltimes.nl. The noise complaints started in October 2019 and were due to a “vocal tic” and psychological disorder. Some of his neighbors sold their apartments and moved out over the last few years, not wanting to wait.

Faces of Margraten project finds 8,000th photo of a WWII soldier from dutchnews.nl. There are 10,000 US soldiers buried or named on an honor role at Margraten, a village in east Netherlands. So far they have been able to find photographs for 8,000 of them.

Zon overdag nauwelijks zichtbaar door Saharastof from nos.nl in Dutch. Loosely translated: The sun was barely visible during the day due to sand from the Sahara desert. There are a few cool photos of the sun today. Here is a tweet with a satellite image (the sand is circled):

The joke at the top of the tweet: “Everyone goes to the car wash [to get the snow and salt off their cars]… Nature says: Hold my beer!”

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Walking in sunshine (Or: Apparently this is the warmest 21 February ever)

As usually happens these days, the Netherlands broke another record today with the warmest 21 February ever (article from omroepwest.nl in Dutch). The previous record was 14.8C (59F), although temperatures are expected to rise to 16-17C (60-62F) today.

I took a walk this morning around the city centre, stopping to take a photo of the Plein and the statue of Willem van Oranje:

There were plenty of places to soak in some sun today. You can check out the boulevard webcam at scheveningenlive.nl. Fairly busy, both in terms of pedestrians and traffic.

In other news: Investigation started as cargo plane showers metal parts on Limburg village from dutchnews.nl. (Coincdentally I read a similar thing happened in Denver, with a passenger plane.)

Also omroepwest.nl (Dutch website) has a handful of photos of places covered in ice a few weeks back and the same places after the ice melted.

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Snow by the Buitenhof (Or: Waiting to buy fish)

Here is a look at the snow by the Buitenhof earlier this week:

The small building in front of the tree in the photo is a fish stand, and yes, there was a line of people waiting to buy fish. How very Dutch.

And I spotted some weird headlines recently, all from nltimes.nl

Man arrested for calling cops 100 times. Apparently he was unhappy with their IT technology. Somehow I don’t think tying up their phone lines will help.

Man fined after breaking ice on Amsterdam canal. Don’t mess with the ice in canals when Dutchies are hoping to get some ice skating in. Officially he was fined for violating the sailing ban, not breaking the ice. (I read on NOS.nl that he was fined for sailing in the wrong direction.)

Weird snowman sends Amsterdam police responding to reports of dead body, complete with a photo of the “dead body” in question. I guess you could think it was a dead body, if you look quickly or something…

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Four days later (Or: Still cold and windy)

The Netherlands is wrapped in a cold spell, with temperatures set to get even colder over the next few days before gradually warming up from Monday.

Code Yellow: Roads still icy, trains still running on adjusted schedule from nltimes.nl. For the most part Sprinters (stop trains) are running to serve all stations, but there are not as many Intercity trains which run between cities. Although the NS promised to put in longer trains, people are still seeing packed trains:

A tweet showing full trains without the ability to keep 1.5 meters distance, noting that shops are closed but this is allowed.

Speaking of shops, they are now allowed to be open for click & collect, but a lot of bigger stores are not offering this option, including H&M, Bijenkorf and Zara (article in Dutch at nos.nl). In some cases because they think the work involved won’t be worth the money gained.

Arnhem zoo brings penguins inside due to the cold from nltimes.nl. Considering these penguins occur naturally in South Africa and Namibia, this does make sense. It does say that the only the partner-less penguins and young penguins without a cave to keep them warm were brought inside (awww, they have their own caves?)

And, finally, while not related to the Netherlands at all, I must simply share this tweet:

Combination cat-lawyer!

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Possible curfew extension (Or: An icy, wintry day)

The Dutch cabinet is consider extending the curfew to 2 March. The curfew runs from 21:00 to 04:30 every night. See also: Outgoing Dutch Cabinet says it will seek curfew extension through March 2 from nltimes.nl. That would be an extension of 3 weeks and bring the measure into line with other measures that are currently in place until (at least) 2 March.

I forgot to post this yesterday but here are some pictures from regio15.nl (in Dutch) of what The Hague looked like under a thin layer of fresh snow on late Saturday into early Sunday morning. We got some more after that, of course.

Skating on the canals? Amsterdam take steps to accelerate ice formation from nltimes.nl. Amsterdam and other Dutch cities have introduced a temporary ban on boating within canals to help stimulate ice growth so that the chances of skating on natural ice are higher.

Van Ark [the minister of Sports] to consider allowing ‘corona safe’ competitions on natural ice from dutchnews.nl. The Dutch government is in a very difficult position at the moment. Dutchies are very fanatic about being able to hold an Elfstedentocht (11 city skating competition, English Wikipedia) at the first possibility of natural ice being thick enough. An Elfstedentocht had already been ruled out late last year due to corona, but now that we are in a situation where we will have at least a week of ice, everyone is thinking about it again. A majority of the Dutch cabinet is for it (article from ad.nl in Dutch), with limited or no public. However it does seem like a bit of a double standard when other things are being cancelled. On the other hand, the last Elfstedentocht was in 1997 due to climate change, so…

And finally, a bit of crazy news: Politie vindt onderkoelde man die in vrieskou van Gouda naar Weesp liep from omroepeest.nl in Dutch. In summary, the trains were not running this weekend so a man decided to walk from Gouda to Weesp (about 54 km or 33 miles) in the evening during the snowstorm. He actually almost made it to Weesp before he called his mom and said he was in trouble. The connection was then lost, so his mom called the police. They finally found him using a police helicopter. He was found not far outside of Weesp, laying on a bike path, suffering from hypothermia of course. But the story ends well: after some care he was reunited with his family. Sounds like he wasn’t fined for breaking curfew, either….

(The Hague has a herd of Scottish Highland cows in Westduinpark, or West Dune Park.)

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