April 30th, 2015 | Last updated: May 23rd, 2015
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.
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.
Saturday (23rd) Amsterdam was blanketed by a layer of clouds all morning and into the afternoon, but around 2 pm the sun will break through from time to time. Expect a high of 16° Celsius (60.8° Fahrenheit) during the mid afternoon.
The cloud layer may return sometime between 4:30 pm and 7 pm, after which we may see some sunshine again with early evening temperatures around 13° Celsius (55.4° Fahrenheit).
Sunday (24th, First day of Pentecost) is expected to be a rather sunny day, with a high of 17° Celsius (62.6° Fahrenheit) in the mid-afternoon.
Monday (25th, Second day of Pentecost)
Rest of the week through Friday (29th): Calm weather with from time to time a bit of rain or scattered showers with a higher chance of precipitation on Thursday (28th) and Friday (29th). At 15-17° Celsius (59-62.2° Fahrenheit) temperatures remain a bit low for the time of year.
Long range forecast, Saturday May 30 through Saturday June 6: Good chance (70%) of a calm weather pattern, with only a slight chance of rain. No clear indication of what kind of temperatures can be expected.
Normal lows and highs in May:
1-10: 7.3-15.9° Celsius (45.14-60.6° Fahrenheit)
11-20: 8.4-17.4° Celsius (47.1-63.3° Fahrenheit)
21-31: 9.2-18° Celsius (48.6-64.4° Fahrenheit)
We’ll update this information throughout the month of May.
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.
May, 2014 was a dream — beautiful spring weather.
Amsterdam Weather Facts: May
• 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.
• 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.
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.
- 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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