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Amsterdam weather in May


May 20th, 2013 | Last updated: April 20th, 2014


Amsterdam Weather forecast © weather-wherever.co.uk

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Good news: In Holland, May often is the sunniest month of the year, with on average up to 15 hours of sunshine a day.

However, May also tends to have as many cold days as it has warm days.

At night there can even be some frost, particularly in the first half of the month — though if and when that happens it is usually in the countryside far east of Amsterdam.

That said, the feast days of the so-called Ice Saints — May 11 through May 13 — are notorious for it.

You don’t relaly have to worry about it.

Mind you, as so often is the case, the weather forecast for the rest of the country may call for sun, while much of the West (Amsterdam included) can be covered with clouds drifting in from the Northsea.

Update: April 20

Here’s what we know right now: At present — through Saturday, April 26 — we have a period of mild spring weather. Middag temperatures of 17-18° C (62.6-64.4° F), a change of showers or an occasional thundershower (both particularly in the afternoons and evenings), and periods of sunshine.

Long-range — Sunday, April 27 through Sunday, May 4 — the weather folks say we can expect a gradual transition to cooler and more changeable weather, with temperatures around or a tad below normal for the time of year. Normal in May is midday highs of around 18° C (64.4° F).

Note: this page will be updated regularly between now and the end of May.

Amsterdam weather in May includes lots of sun

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.

But May, 2013 was quite cold, somber and wet. Even the sunny days were cold.

Amsterdam Weather Facts: May

Temperatures
• Average lows: 7.2° C (45° F)
• Average highs: 18° C (64.4° F)

Sunrise & Sunset
• May 1 – 6:11 a.m. / 9:06 p.m
• May 31 – 5:26 a.m. / 9:51 p.m.

Rainfall
• 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.
Amsterdam Cruiseship Terminal
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, a coffeehouse/coffeeshop. or a deli.

Tips

  • 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.

Amsterdam Climate

arrow General information about the weather in Amsterdam
arrow Local weather in other months

Notes:

  1. Dutch: Koninklijk Nederlands Meteorologisch Instituut
  2. In the Netherlands, most movies on TV and in the cinema are shown in the original language, with Dutch subtitles.
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Published: May 20th, 2013 Last updated: April 20th, 2014

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