Coldest March night in 150 years
4 March 2005
AMSTERDAM — The coldest March temperature in a century and half was recorded overnight, with the mercury plunging to minus 20.7 degrees Celsius in the village of Marknesse in the province of Flevoland.
Meteorology bureau KNMI said the Marknesse temperature — recorded at 1.30am — topped the 20th century record of minus 18.7 degrees, reported in Wageningen on 7 March 1971. The first half of March of that year was also defined by severe wintry conditions.
Marknesse is in the North East Polder, some 80km from Amsterdam and a resident told Expatica that unofficial temperatures of minus 25 degrees had been reported in farm paddocks.
A KNMI spokesman said a clear sky, lack of wind and a thick layer of snow contributed to the extreme fall in temperatures. It comes after cold air that was above the south of Sweden moved over the Netherlands overnight.
The freeze follows two days of snowfalls this week in what is being described as the most extreme snowfalls in the Netherlands in 50 years. The cold night temperature on Thursday was the coldest March temperature since official measurements started in 1900.
It was looking likely early in the evening that Marknesse would record an extremely low temperature. But even in the wider vicinity, temperatures of minus 18 degrees were being reported.
KNMI said on average, much of the Netherlands was reporting temperatures of minus 10 to minus 15 degrees, and it was even colder in several places. At 9.30am, it was still minus 12.5 degrees in the Dutch capital of Amsterdam.
The coldest March in the Netherlands was recorded in 1845, with an average temperature for the month of minus 2.3 degrees. The first three weeks of that March saw moderate to very severe freezing temperatures.
The period of 13-16 March in 1845 in particular was cold, with temperatures ranging around minus 20. A temperature of minus 21 degrees was reported in Groningen on 14 March 1845. That was the coldest March in three centuries.
[Copyright Expatica News 2005]
Subject: Dutch news