Approaching cold snap has Amsterdam skaters hopeful

Ice skating on Amsterdam canals
Skaters in Amsterdam take to the canals after a cold snap. Feb. 13, Zack Newmark / NL Times

With freezing temperatures hitting the Netherlands in the coming days, Amsterdam skating enthusiasts are hopeful that they may have a chance to get out onto the canals again. The last time the canals froze enough for skating, was in 2012, Het Parool reports.

Waternet closes a number of canals to sailing traffic at the first layer of ice and prediction of night frost. These mostly involve canals on the west side of the city, including the Princengracht and parts of the Keizergracht. If more than five consecutive nights of moderate to severe frost is expected, and daytime temperatures also drop below zero, Waternet closes all canals in the city, according to the newspaper.

A number of pumping stations outside the city have already been turned off, so that skaters can get onto natural ice rinks like Kortenhoef ad Aneveense Plassen as quickly as possible.

Weeronline predicts that temperatures will drop significantly in the coming days. From early next week, night time temperatures may even dip below -10 degrees, and day time temps won't climb above freezing.

Weerplaza expects that it will be possible to skate on shallow ditches from Tuesday, but sees little chance of the canals freezing enough to skate on. Ice will form quickly overnight, but melt away in the sun during the day. The strong wind also makes it difficult for the water to freeze completely closed.