October in Amsterdam: ‘It Can Freeze, Or It Can Thaw’
In ancient times the month of October was referred to in Holland as aarselmaand — hesitation month, as the weather hesitates between fall and winter.
“Het kan vriezen of het kan dooien,” (literally, “It can freeze or it can thaw”) the Dutch say — in an expression that means the outcome is uncertain: anything is possible.
That is quite true for the weather in Amsterdam during the month of October. The weather in Holland in notorious for being consistently inconsistent at any time during the year, and October is no exception. The day can start out sunny, only to quickly give way to showers and occasional gusty storms.
That said, in recent years October has had a fair share of gorgeous days — sunny, blue skies, and often even warm enough to enjoy an outdoor café.
We’ve posted the weather forecast for the last few days of Octobre on our November page.
We had calm fall weather during the month of October 2016.
Not much sun, but not too rain either.
Lots of grey days — and noticeably shorter in terms of daylight.
Speaking of which, remember that the end of Daylight Saving Time occurs in the night of Saturday October 29 to Sunday October 30, at 3 am.
Normal Lows and High in October
1-10 9.2-16° Celsius (48.56-60.8° Fahrenheit)
11-20 7.4-14.5° Celsius (45.32-58.1° Fahrenheit)
21-31 6.6-12.8° Celsius (43.88-55.04° Fahrenheit)
In Amsterdam we’ve learned to live with this kind of weather: bright and sunny one moment; cloudy and rain showers the next. It’s not for nothing we’ve got so many cafes to pop in to.
Average Amsterdam temperatures in October
On average you can expect lots of grey days, some sunny days, and some rain. Guidebooks and websites can not seem to agree whether or not October is the wettest month, but you’ll want to use an umbrella on a regular basis.
The average high temperature is 13° Celsius (55.4° Fahrenheit), and the average night-time low is 4° Celsius (39.2° Fahrenheit) — while the average median temperature is 10.4° (50.72° Fahrenheit).
But note that on average the temperatures at the end of October are four degrees lower than at the beginning of the month. September is on average 4 degrees warmer than October, while November is on average four degrees colder.
The weather in the coastal regions of the country tends to be warmer and wetter than the weather further inland. Overall, October has some 60 hours of rain, and an average of 104 hours of sunshine.
The end of Daylight Saving Time
At the start of October the sun rises at about 7:45 am, and sets at about 7:20 pm. At the end of the month, when the country has reverted to wintertime, sunrise starts at about 7:35 am and sunset occurs at about 5.15 pm.
In 2016 summertime in the Netherlands started on March 27. It will revert back to wintertime in the night of Saturday October 29 to Sunday October 30. That means you will get an extra hour of sleep (or, as the case may be, party time) since at 3:00 am the clock will be turned back to 2:00 am, Central European Time. Remember: spring forward, fall back.
In 2017 summertime starts Sunday, March 26, and ends on Sunday, October 29.
What to wear
Humid air and strong wind can make the weather in Amsterdam feel colder than it actually is.
You’ll want a wind- and waterproof jacket, and it is a good idea to dress in layers, including a sweater or sweatshirt and jacket. Stores, pubs, cafes and restaurants as well as cinemas and theaters will be warm, so you’ll need to be able to take something off.
Wear shoes instead of sandals or flip-flops.
Inexpensive umbrellas are for sale all over downtown Amsterdam so you don’t need to worry about bringing one. You get what you pay for, but generally the wind is not yet strong enough to trash your umbrella.
And then there are days like this (October 28, 2013):
Things to do
Amsterdam is at its prettiest when the sun in shining, but the city is beautiful any time of the year, come sunshine or rain.
Keep your schedule as flexible as possible so you can take advantage of good weather for outside activities, while you visit museums at other times.
If and when it rains you’ll likely want to pop into a pub for a coffee or a beer while you wait for the shower to end.
During this month the leaves on Amsterdam’s trees change their green color to hues of yellow, orange and red. Have your camera ready (with a camera rain jacket, perhaps).
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