December 1st, 2014 | Last updated: March 28th, 2015
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.
As expected: no White Christmas in Amsterdam.
In fact, it’s rather mild and we’re having periods of sunshine interspersed with stretches of grey skies and, from time to time, scattered and brief rain showers.
That said, though it’s 7° Celcius (44.6° Fahrenheit), it feels like 0° Celcius (32° Fahrenheit).
Tomorrow, Second Christmas day (Friday the 26th), we’re expecting sunny and dry weather — 3° Celcius (37.4° Fahrenheit) on average.
Saturday may seen a turn in the weather. There’s a significant chance of snow. Daytime high will be 1° Celcius (33.8° Fahrenheit), but it will feel somewhere in the neighborhood of -10° Celcius (14° Fahrenheit)
In the coming week it will remain dry, for the most part, with temperatures slightly above 0° Celcius (32° Fahrenheit) — though it may well feel colder.
Long-range: Tuesday, January 1 through Thursday January 8, 2015: The weather pros aren’t sure, and say there’s a 50% chance of changeable weather with temperatures at or above normal. There’s also a 50% chance we’ll continue to have dry, but rather cold weather.
Normal for the time of year: lows of 0.3° Celcius (32.54° Fahrenheit) and highs of 5.1° Celcius (41.18° Fahrenheit).
2014 Warmest Year On Record
In the Netherlands 2014 was the warmest year on record, according to the Royal Netherlands Meteorological Institute, which started measurements three centuries ago.
Nearly every month was warmer than normal, August being the exception. Moreover, eight of the twelve months were the warmest on record.
This fall has also been sunnier and drier than usual.
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.
When snow does fall — the good stuff, not the wet slurry — Amsterdam looks like this:
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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