Dutch Summer: Expect Rain


A flower after some rain.

Today when walking back home the summer rain filled the sky and street. Brief intervals of heavy and light showers took turns under a white-grey sky, no sunlight. A coat for a ten minute walk was not necessary. A quick pace was enough and before entering my house I saw this flower which I had to photograph. Today is the 26th of July and I was reminded of the peculiarity of Dutch summers and their rain.

The weather and climate are phenomena scientists still do not understand everything about. There is only so much that is measurable and the unpredictability of these phenomena makes a prognosis only possible to likely. Watching the weather forecast gives me a chuckle. I adapt to the temperature I feel and the sky I see first.

I now live in the Amsterdam region. Before I use to live next to the IJsselmeer. In English called “Lake IJssel” this lake was once an inner sea that made the Netherlands a big natural harbour. After the Dutch Afsluitdijk was completed in 1932 the old “Zuiderzee” became a big lake. With strong winds this lake can still behave like a sea.

Big deal, I lived next to a big lake. Actually yes because big waters of all kinds influence the local climate and weather phenomena. In my case this made the summers a bit cooler and the winters a bit milder. There was always a breeze. Also the Netherlands are surrounded by the North Sea and the Waddenzee. Coastal weather differs from land weather.

Living next to and between big waters adds something else: rain. Even more peculiar in the summer after a warm week you can expect a rain shower between three days and a week from the moment that warm week started. On hot days you can expect rain showers and possibly thunder and lightning within 24 hours when you see the right cloud formations.

This Saturday and Sunday were filled with strong winds, storm conditions and rain showers. In the Netherlands, especially around the big waters expect the clouds to bring rain showers.

If you ever visit the Netherlands in the summer, expect the rain to greet you.


New life springs up in the side-walk.