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Ice skating on the canals of Amsterdam

DutchAmsterdam.nl, Feb. 6, 2012 — Talk to old locals in Amsterdam and you hear stories about winters the likes of which we haven’t seen in recent memory.

Weather is always a topic of interest, especially in a country of which it is said — more or less jokingly — that you can experience four seasons a day.

Ice skating on Keizersgracht, Amsterdam

The weather in the Netherlands isn’t all that fickle, but fact is that the climate has been changing over the past years. Noticeably so.

As we said in our February Amsterdam Weather talk, during each of the past 11 months the weather in Holland has been different from the normal weather pattern.

But thus far February looks like a normal month, weather-wise.

Little did we know that snow was in the air. Again, no as much as we remember from way back when, but enough of a blizzard to blanket the country in 3-5 cm of the white stuff.

And then the big freeze kicked in. I can assure you that we haven’t seen weather this cold in a long, long time. Recently in one place in Holland a night-time temperature of -22.8° Celcius (-9.04° Fahrenheit) was measured. Cold!

While I’m am writing this — a mug of hot Santos, Brasil coffee on hand — it’s -7 ° Celcius (19.04° Fahrenheit).

When it looks like its going to be freezing for a while, the Amsterdam city council instructs Waternet — the Water Company for the area of Amsterdam and surroundings — to issue a sailing prohibition for certain canals.

Boats are not permitted to sail through (sections of) certain canals, including Prinsengracht, Leliegracht and Keizersgracht. That’s so folks can enjoy the opportunity to skate the canals, like so:

The photo of Keizersgracht is © Amsterdam Toerisme & Congres Bureau. Unauthorized reproduction prohibited. Used by permission.

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This post was last updated: Mar. 24, 2013