2003 was the sunniest year ever in Holland
11 December 2003
AMSTERDAM — Despite narrowly missing out on recording the hottest summer ever, the year 2003 was the sunniest 12 months in recorded Dutch history, weather bureau KNMI has confirmed.
The previous record of 1,986 sun hours was recorded in 1959, but 2003 eclipsed that total on Wednesday afternoon, news agency ANP reported.
KNMI — which has been recording the amount of sun since 1901 — said nearly every month this year was notably sunny, particularly the months of February and March. The weather bureau described every season this year as “very sunny” and said the winter was sunnier than ever.
The bureau report comes after the 2003 summer recorded an average temperature of 18.6 degrees Celsius, just missing out on topping the 18.7 degree average recorded in 1947, the nation’s hottest three months ever.
The top five summers in the Netherlands since 1901 previously were 1947, 1976, 1995, 1983 and the summers of 1997 and 1996 held equal fifth place. The summer of 2003 has now laid claim to second place.
The level of the Rhine River fell to a record low of 6.9m above the New Amsterdam Level (NAP) as the Netherlands — and much of Europe — experienced an extremely dry summer.
Meanwhile, the north-western port city of Den Helder recorded the most amount of sun in the Netherlands this year with a record 2,160 hours. The figure was about 500 hours more than average and about 100 more than the record established in Valkenburg in 1995.
Den Helder was even sunnier than, for example, the Italian coastal resort of Rimini, which records an average 2,048 sun hours every year.
KNMI attributed the extra sun to the spreading of high-pressure systems across the country, but a bureau spokesman said the year’s stable pressure partitions were unexplainable, but were not unusual in light of the changeability of the Dutch climate.
Between 1901 and 1992, KNMI used a glass ball to measure the amount of sun. The glass ball directed the sun ray’s onto a piece paper, scorching a trail to record the amount of sun.
But climatologists now use electronic equipment which measures radiation. The pyranometer records the amount of sun by measuring the amount of radiation in the air. The top five sunniest summers are 2003, 1959, 1947, 1949 and 1995.
[Copyright Expatica News 2003]
Subject: Dutch news