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Climate - Netherlands

Temperature, rainfall, prevailing weather conditions, when to go, what to pack

United States version (°F - inches - feet). See also the metric version (°C - mm - meters)

Flag - Netherlands

Map - Netherlands

The climate of the Netherlands is influenced by the North Sea and the Atlantic Ocean, so it's cool, cloudy and humid most of the year. The rains are not so abundant, ranging between 30 and 33 inches per year, but they are frequent throughout the year.
Here is the average precipitation in Amsterdam.
Average precipitation Amsterdam
Amsterdam J F M A M J J A S O N D Year
Prec. (in) 2.6 2.0 2.4 1.6 2.2 2.6 3.0 3.4 3.2 3.5 3.4 3.0 33.1
Days 12 10 11 9 10 10 10 10 12 13 13 13 133

The amount of sunshine is never excellent, because the sky is often cloudy even in summer, however, the relatively sunnier months are May and June. The wind blows frequently, especially in the autumn and winter months, when there may be even storms.
Being a small and flat country, the Netherlands have a uniform climate, even though there's a slightly greater continentality in inland areas, compared with coastal areas, which in turn are more windy. For this reason, it can be said that the various Dutch cities (Amsterdam, Rotterdam, Utrecht, The Hague, Eindhoven, etc..) have essentially the same climate.
Here are the average temperatures of Amsterdam.
Amsterdam average temperatures
Amsterdam J F M A M J J A S O N D
Min (°F) 33 33 37 40 47 51 54 52 51 46 40 35
Max (°F) 42 43 49 56 63 67 72 72 66 58 49 44

Winter, from December to February, is cold but not freezing, with daily average temperatures about 36/37 °F, that is, around freezing at night, and around 39/41 °F during the day.
In winter, there are periods in which Atlantic currents prevail, and the weather is mild, with highs above 50 °F, but windy and rainy as well; in other periods, when the country is reached by high pressure systems, the weather can be dull and foggy.
On the contrary, cold air masses from Eastern Europe may sometimes reach the country, bringing cold spells, and in these cases the temperatures can drop below freezing even during the day. This kind of frosty weather typically lasts a few days, and is followed by the return of the westerlies, which may initially bring some snowfalls; in these cases snowfalls are generally not abundant and are often followed by rain.
The winter landscape covered with snow, with frozen canals that can be seen in the paintings of Flemish painters, relate to a period (the Little Ice Age, roughly 1450 to 1850), in which Europe's climate was colder than today. In recent times, icy situations of this type occur once every few years. However, when this happens, the Dutch are happy to play their national sport, ice skating, outdoors.

Pieter Bruegel the elder, hunters in the snow - 1565

Spring, from March to May, is a cool season, with the temperatures slowly increasing. Cold days are frequent still in April, with highs around 50 °F, but this kind of weather can occur until the first half of May. In May, the average maximum temperature is still around 61 °F. However, starting from this month, the expansion of the Azores High can give the first sunny and relatively warm days, especially in the second half.

The Dutch summer, admittedly, is not the best. From June to August, the temperatures are generally pleasant, in fact the daily average is around 63/64 °F, however, in this season cool and rainy days are quite frequent, with maximum temperatures below 68 °F, however, they alternate with warmer days, in which the sun peeps through the clouds, and on early afternoon the temperature can exceed 77 °F. In short, the Dutch summer is similar to that of London. On average, the maximum temperature fluctuates around 70/72 °F in the interior, and only around 68 °F on the coast; however, the temperature reaches 86/90 °F only on two or three days per month.

Autumn, from September to November, is initially pleasant in September, especially in the first half, while it becomes gradually cooler, cloudy and rainy, with frequent winds.


The brave, who wish to swim in the sea, must know that the North Sea is very cool even in summer: the water temperature reaches 61 °F in July, and 63 °F in August. In addition, along the coast a cool breeze blows, often too cool, at least for those who are not accustomed to it, or don't come from a Nordic country.
Sea temperature Amsterdam
Amsterdam J F M A M J J A S O N D
Sea (°F) 46 45 46 48 52 55 61 63 63 59 55 50

When to go

The best time to visit the Netherland runs from mid-May to mid-September, when the temperatures are usually mild or pleasantly warm, the rains are quite frequent, but sometimes even the sun comes out. May and June are a bit cooler than July and August, but at this time the country is in bloom; in the first half of May, which can still be a bit cold, you can admire tulip fields, which bloom between mid-April and mid-May.
In September, the maximum temperatures are still around 68 °F.

What to pack

In winter: warm clothing, sweater, coat, wind jacket, umbrella, possibly warm hat and gloves for the cold periods.
In summer: spring/autumn clothes: t-shirt for warm days, shirt, jacket, sweatshirt or sweater; raincoat or umbrella.

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Metric version (°C)
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