Natural ice rinks opening across the country; Skating on open water unlikely this week
In various places in the Netherlands, skating enthusiasts can skate on natural ice rinks on Tuesday. But tying the irons on lakes and canals will almost certainly not be possible this week, according to Weeronline. With temperatures dropping to -9 degrees locally, last night was the coldest night of the year. But that cold did not last long enough to skate responsibly on open water.
The Doornsche IJsclub opened its track at 8:00 a.m., the club said on Facebook. “We will remain open as long as the weather permits.” Skaters can also go to the IJsclub Vooruitgang in Ammerstol, the Warmondse IJs-en Skeelerclub, and Hard Gaat ie in De Lier, Zuid-Holland.
The association in De Lier started spraying water on Monday at 7:00 p.m. and spent all night preparing the ice floor for skating. “It looks great,” said chairman Wim van der Berg. He thinks the rink can stay open for at least a few days with the current temperatures.
The ice rink in Winterswijk is also ready to skate on but will only open to the public later on Tuesday after an attempt to break the world hour record for skating on natural ice.
Last night was the coldest night of this year, with temperatures dipping to -7.6 at the national weather station in De Bilt. While the low temps were great for opening inundated skating rinks and flooded meadows with a shallow layer of water, it’s not enough for most rinks, according to Weeronline.
“To open ice rinks on a large scale, you need a few days of severe frost,” said Weeronline. “This afternoon, the temperature will be around freezing point, and there will be another night with a few degrees of frost, which is favorable for the ice. It can grow a bit thicker overnight in the coming days. But the temperature will rise above zero in the coming days, especially in the coastal areas.”
With the current dry air, those higher temperatures during the day are not necessarily bad for the ice, but with only moderate frost on the horizon, the ice will not grow fast enough to skate on large lakes, for example. Weeronline expects severe frost this coming night, with outliers of -9 in the northeast and -3 in the southwest, but after that, there is mainly frost of around -5 degrees. The cold spell will end on Saturday night, and the thaw will set in on Sunday.
Weeronline expects a few more natural ice rinks to open in the coming days, but it will probably stay at that. “Skating may be possible on ditches here and there, but on large lakes, you really have to be careful.” The ice may close in many places, but it will not be thick enough to handle large numbers of skating enthusiasts, according to the weather service. “And if you see someone skating, it doesn’t mean it’s safe.”
Reporting by ANP and NL Times