Weather in the Netherlands

For not only do the Dutch love discussing the weather, they also thoroughly enjoy using poetic language to do so.


Weathering the storm
‘Het regent pijpenstelen, het stort, het giet, het miezert’ en ‘het komt met bakken uit de hemel vallen’. You might think that we’re setting you up for an appointment with a speech therapist to practice the daunting Dutch pronunciation of Gs and Rs, but no; these are just a few examples of how you can describe different types of rain in the Netherlands. The Dutch language has more words to describe different types of weather than many other countries in the world, which might seem odd for a small country that doesn’t have a remarkably interesting array of weather types. After all, we don’t often deal with hurricanes, typhoons, earthquakes; and by not often, we of course mean never. So where does the interest in the weather come from and does it actually rain all the time in the Netherlands? Read on to learn more!

The Netherlands has a moderate maritime climate which means mild winters and cool summers. There’s a slight distinction between regional climates, with the south of the Netherlands enjoying higher temperatures than the north, though record temperatures have been an annual occurrence throughout the entire country for the last few years. One reason why people might think it rains a lot in the Netherlands is that precipitation is common throughout the year, there is no dry or wet season, which makes the weather unpredictable but the amount of precipitation is actually not that bad compared to other countries in Europe.

Conversation starter
All in all, it’s better to be well prepared for all types of weather in the Netherlands. And you might actually find that, although a lot of people think it’s an exaggeration that the Dutch talk about the weather a lot, they actually do! Another explanation for this is the country’s farming background. The Dutch are used to weathering the elements, although nowadays it’s mostly cycling to work or hiking through the countryside. If you want to practise your Dutch by making small talk, say something about the weather and how it affected your day, success guaranteed!

Prepared for any type of weather
Efficient as we are, Dutch people actually use an app that shows a constant precipitation forecast, called ‘buienradar’. A lot of people check this before they go somewhere, as you never know how quickly those clouds might sneak up on you!