Record-breaking 39.5 degrees in Maastricht, as asphalt reaches 52 degrees; People flock to the movies
Tuesday set a new record for the hottest-ever July 19 in the Netherlands, according to Weeronline. The old record of 37.1 degrees Celsius, measured in 2006 in Westdorpe, was broken at around 1:50 p.m. when the temperature in Maastricht reached 37.3 degrees. By 4:50 p.m., the thermometer in the Limburg capital showed 39.5 degrees.
The Netherlands refers to temperatures over 30 degrees as being "tropical," and the mercury hit that marker across the entire country, according to the weather website. By 2 p.m., the mercury even reached 30.1 degrees on Terschelling, and in Den Helder the thermometer showed 34.0 degrees. In De Bilt, the temperature has so far risen to 34.0 degrees.
Between 10 a.m. and 11 a.m., the temperature quickly rose two degrees in many places. The rapid increase began to slow by early afternoon, like normal, according to Weeronline.
Movie theaters a popular choice for the day
It spurred many film fans to try and cool off by taking in a movie at the cinema on Tuesday afternoon. Pathé, the largest cinema operator in the Netherlands, reported higher visitor numbers than on a regular summer holiday Tuesday. "It is difficult to give concrete figures halfway through the day," said a spokesperson. "But in general it is busier than usual in the theaters today." Moreover, many theater managers heard from their visitors that the cool cinemas is one of the reasons for they attended on Tuesday. "It is 21 degrees in the average cinema hall," reported Pathé.
Family films Minions: The Rise of GRU and Dutch animated movie Knor were very popular on Tuesday. Thor: Love & Thunder, Top Gun: Maverick, Elvis, and Bon Bini Holland 3 were the most popular films for older audiences.
Pavement temps hit 52 degrees
The asphalt in many places in the Netherlands topped 50 degrees on Tuesday afternoon, according to the monitor that infrastructure agency Rijkswaterstaat manages. Weeronline said values that high, like the air temperatures, are "quite special."
In the south of Limburg in particular, the asphalt reached temperatures of over 50 degrees, with peaks of 52 degrees in some cities on Tuesday afternoon. On many other roads in the country, the temperature ranged from 45 to 48 degrees. According to meteorologist Matthijs van der Linden, high temperatures make the asphalt "softer" and can deform under heavy weight. "Then you get potholes," said the meteorologist.
Van der Linden could not yet say how much the heat impacted asphalt. "What I notice when I cycle through Amsterdam in this weather is that the cast asphalt becomes really soft at the traffic light sensors, and can stick to your tire."
On Monday, it was reported that grit would be sprinkled on the roads in the country to keep them cooler. This was not done nationally by Rijkswaterstaat, but may have been undertaken locally by the provinces.
Reporting by ANP and NL Times