December 1st, 2014 | Last updated: December 9th, 2014
If you see any sunshine in Amsterdam during December, take a picture.
In this darkest month of the year the sun shows up only 40-45 hours, and you can expect at least half of the days to pass without any sunshine to speak of.1
In Holland December is a winter month, after all. The shortest day of the year — in terms of the amount of daylight — 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.
Mind you, this is not the rainiest month, nor the coldest. But Amsterdam weather in December includes a fair amount of precipitation — usually in the form of rain or wet snow.
In the Netherlands the fall of 2014 was the one-but-mildest since the country’s Royal Netherlands Meteorological Institute started measurements three centuries ago.
Not surprising, since the past 16 months have nearly all seen long-term heat-records broken.
This fall was also sunnier and drier than usual.
December thus far has been cold, with several stretches of days with temperatures that felt a few degrees lower than they actually were. However, we did see the sun from time to time, and overall temperatures have been a bit higher than normal for the time of year.
Tuesday December 9 it’s expected to be partially sunny for most of the day, though there will be scattered showers early in the morning and late in the evening. Look for a midday high of 7° Celcius (44.6° Fahrenheit) — but be aware that the weather pros say it will feel more like 0° Celcius (32° Fahrenheit)
Wednesday will be a tad cloudier, but also slightly warmer. In fact, for the rest of the week you can expect a midday high of about 8° Celcius (46.4° Fahrenheit). Some scattered sunshine; some scattered, brief showers.
From Thursday, December 11 it will be a bit cloudier again — and there’s a high probability of a series of brief rain showers, anything from mere drizzle to light rain.
Long-range forecast, Tuesday December 16 through Tuesday December 23: The changeable weather pattern is expected to continue, with maximum highs about normal for the time of year.
Normal is 5.9° Celcius (42.62° Fahrenheit).
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.
It may snow from time to time, but seldom a lot, and a white Christmas in Amsterdam is a rare occurrence.
That said, if you’ve followed our weather write-ups for a while, you know we always point out how unpredictable Dutch weather is.
And in case you’re wondering: the end of the month is 1 to 1.5 degrees colder than the beginning. We’re gearing up for January.
What to wear in Amsterdam in December
December can be bone-chillingly cold, especially when it’s windy.
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 & Month-by-Month
More about the weather in Amsterdam, including current temperatures, expected precipitation, 4-day forecast and average rainfall figures. Also: the weather from month-to-month.
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This article was first published on Dec. 2, 2009. It has since been updated several times.
- When the sun does shine, owing to the crispy temperatures it is often combined with deep-blue skies. That makes for great photos. Added benefit: with most trees bare the architectural features of the great canal houses are easier to see. ↩
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