|Current & Forecast|
DutchAmsterdam.nl — The good news is that May in Holland often is the sunniest month of the year, with on average up to 15 hours of sun a day.
However, this month tends to have as many cold days as it has warm days. [Buyer beware: be sure to read our update]
At night there can even be some frost, particularly in the first half of the month.
The feast days of the so-called Ice Saints, which fall on May 11, May 12, and May 13, are notorious for it.
Update: May 20, 2013: The Royal Netherlands Meteorological Institute (KNMI)1 notes that in recent years the months of April and May have been rather mild, sunny and dry.
And indeed, normally Amsterdam weather in May is quite pleasant.
But April (2013) was quite cold, somber and wet — just like last year. Even the sunny days were cold.
And May? More of the same. And the news gets worse:
At this point, Spring 2013 is in the running for one of the coldest springs in the Netherlands ever (ever being 1854, when KNMI started recording the weather in the Netherlands).
Mind you, to become the coldest it would have to beat the Spring of 1962, when the average temperature was 6,5° Celcius (43.7° Fahrenheit) against 6,8° Celcius (44.2° Fahrenheit) this year.
Like in April we have seen a few sunny days this May, but with one notable exception it remained rather chilly.
Right now it’s rain, rain, and more rain — albeit interspersed with drizzle, as well as some dry periods.
More bad news? Toward the end of the week, temperatures are expected to fall to as low as 10° Celcius (50° Fahrenheit).
The weather professionals say you’ll see lots of clouds, lots of rain showers, and lots of grey gloom — and only now and then some sun.
They also say that toward the end of the month temperatures will rise to between 15° and 20° Celius (59° and 68° Fahrenheit).
Amsterdam Weather Facts: May
• Average lows: 7.2° C (45° F)
• Average highs: 17.2° C (63° F)
Sunrise & Sunset
• May 1 – 6:11 a.m. / 9:06 p.m
• May 31 – 5:26 a.m. / 9:51 p.m.
• Average: 52 mm (2.4 inches) in 44 hours
What to wear in Amsterdam in May
You’ll need to take into account the updated weather situation as described above, but normally this is what you’d bring:
Bring short-sleeved T-shirts or tops, and summer-type skirts and dresses — but also something slightly warmer for chilly evenings and sunny but chilly days. Jeans, light-weight slacks, or shorts for guys.
Early mornings may look sunny but can still be cold enough to warrant sweats or a light jacket — especially when it’s windy.
After sundown temperatures cool off rapidly.
You probably won’t need an umbrella. If you do want to carry one, a small fold-up model will suffice. But showers usually are brief enough to wait them out over something to eat of drink at a brown café or a deli.
- Sunny days are perfect for postcard-quality photos — especially now that everything is green. You can take beautiful pictures along the canals (particularly from bridges).
- Grey and rainy days make for great dramatic pictures, particularly if you shoot in black & white (or later convert your color photos to B&W).
- When the weather is good, do like the Amsterdammers do, and relax at an outdoor café. It’s perfect for people-watching.
- If it’s rainy, plan on visiting some of Amsterdam’s 50+ museums
- A bad weather day is also perfect for a visit to the cinema2. We can recommend a visit to the unique EYE Film Institute.
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