From cold to warm: it sure is strange
16 March 2005, AMSTERDAM — As the mercury rose this week following extreme snow and cold, Dutch meteorology bureau KNMI said the extreme temperature changes witnessed this month have never been repeated in official statistics.
16 March 2005
AMSTERDAM — As the mercury rose this week following extreme snow and cold, Dutch meteorology bureau KNMI said the extreme temperature changes witnessed this month have never been repeated in official statistics.
In just 12 days time, the temperature rose from a March record of minus 20.7 degrees Celsius to 20 degrees plus. KNMI weatherman Harry Geurts has said the situation is "very unique".
The province of Limburg recorded the first official "warm" day of 2005 on Wednesday, with the mercury rising above 20 degrees. But on 4 March in Flevoland, minus 20.7 degrees was recorded in the village of Marknesse.
The record cold as snowfalls of up to 50cm were recorded in the north of the country as a low pressure system came to a standstill over the country. It was the heaviest snowfalls in 50 years.
Prior to the snowstorm, spring was being reported by the Wageningen University on 11 February, much earlier than the official date of 21 March. It based its claims on the fact that lambs were being born, spring birds were being sighted and spring-budding flowers were braving an early start to the new season.
And Geurts said on Wednesday he could not find anywhere in KNMI records a period in which greater temperature changes topped this month's 40 degree turnaround, newspaper De Telegraaf reported.
Pointing out one reference point, he said March 1968 showed great temperature changes also. On 12 March of that year, the mercury dipped to minus 5.9 degrees in Eelde, rising to 25.6 degrees in Venlo on 29 March.
A bigger change was recorded in April 1968, with minus 7.1 degrees on 8 April in the Twente region in the east and 32.2 degrees in Venlo on 21 April.
But Geurts said the changes are "typical" for this time of year. It just depends on which weather pattern moves above the country.
He said a weather system from the north moved across the Netherlands at the start of this month, while hot air from the Sahara is presently being blown north to the Netherlands.
While the first official warm day of the year is early, it does not signify a record. In 1920, the mercury also rose significantly, but on that occasion the date was 19 February.
[Copyright Expatica News 2005]
Subject: Dutch news