DutchAmsterdam.nl — Decem was the Latin word for ten, and the old Roman calendar used to designate this as the tenth month.
December is a winter month. The shortest day — in terms of the amount of daylight — of the year falls on December 21st, and that’s when the winter season starts.
Tourists from countries closer to the equator are often amazed at how short Amsterdam days really are in December, with sunrise on average at about 8:30 am, and sunset around 4:30 pm.
For those Amsterdammers who have a regular 9-5 job it’s no fun going to and from work in the dark — let alone when there’s rain or frost.
December is not the rainiest month, but you can expect some precipitation — either in the form or rain or wet snow.
Measured over the whole country, on average some form of weather drops from the sky on 22 days, for a total of 72mm (2.8 inches). Still speaking in averages, 3 of those days will see hail, 5 wet snow and 6-10 days fog.
The end of the month is 1 to 1.5 degrees colder than the beginning.
If you see some sunshine during December, take a picture. In this darkest month the sun shines 40-45 hours, and you can expect at least half of the days to pass without any sunshine to speak of.
It can also be bone-chillingly cold, especially when it’s windy.
Even so a white Christmas is a rare occurence. In fact, some years December starts out with frost and snow, only to see a thaw later in the month.
What to wear in Amsterdam in December
You’ll definitely want to bring warm clothes, along with a winter-proof, waterproof coat or jacket. A windproof hat or cap — especially one that keeps the ears warm — will be very welcome. You’ll also want a scarf and gloves.
Bring sweaters and warm socks. Long underwear may come in handy as well.
That said, make sure you dress in layers. Pubs, restaurants and private homes can be quite warm.
Amsterdam weather facts: December
• Average lows: 0.5° C (33° F)
• Average highs: 5.5° C (42° F)
Sunrise & Sunset
• December 1 – 8:27 a.m. / 4:32 p.m.
• December 31 – 8:51 a.m. / 4:37 p.m.
• Average 72mm (2.8 inches) in 72 hours
Amsterdam Current Weather
More about the weather in Amsterdam, including current temperatures, expected precipitation, 2-day forecast and average rainfall figures.
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This article was first published on Dec. 2, 2009. It has been slightly updated.
Do not republish or repost.