There is officially a nationwide water shortage in the Netherlands, but the drinking water is not in danger, according to the Ministry of Infrastructure and Water Management. As the drought is expected to continue in the coming weeks, more measures may be taken to distribute the available water as well as possible, NU.nl reports.
Public health institute RIVM again implemented the National Heat Plan for Limburg, Noord-Brabant, Gelderland, Utrecht, Overijssel and Drenthe. Temperatures in these parts of the country will climb to between 30 and 35 degrees in the coming days, and minimums will not drop much below 20 degrees, according to meteorological institute KNMI.
The RIVM warns people in these provinces to stay hydrated, wear thin clothing that provide protection against the sun, stay in the shade, regularly apply sunscreen, and limit physical exertion during the hottest parts of the day.
Over 2,700 volunteers are participating in the sixth edition of the Boskalis Beach Cleanup Tour, the annual cleaning action organized by the North Sea Foundation. Over the next two weeks, they will clean up the entire stretch of North Sea beaches in the Netherlands, the Telegraaf reports.
The cleanup started on Wednesday with two teams of volunteers - one team starting at Cadzand in the south and the other at Schiermonnikoog. Each day the cleaning teams will get closer to each other, until they finish together in Zandvoort.
Nature lovers who look forward to a purple Posbank each summer, will be disappointed this year, according to naturalist Gerrit Jansen. The heather that turns the hills purple with its blossoms is withered by the persistent drought and will hardly bloom this year, he said to De Gelderlander.
Every year the purple glow over the hills of the Posbank - a national attraction - attracts thousands of visitors in the second half of August. This year they will be disappointed.
Meteorologists expect that the Netherlands may face a second national heatwave by the end of this week. Over the coming week maximum temperatures of above 25 degrees, and sometimes even above 30 degrees, are expected.
For a national heatwave, the weather station at De Bilt must measure maximums of 25 degrees or above for five consecutive days, and three of those days must have maximums of 30 degrees or higher. "It is quite possible that we will reach that again at the end of this week. Then we'll have a second national heatwave", weatherman Maarten Stam said to RTL Nieuws.
This July was the driest ever since rainfall measurements started in the Netherlands. Only 11 millimeters of rain fell nation wide this month, breaking the previous record of 16 millimeters in July 1921, Weeronline reported on Tuesday.
On Tuesday, the last day in July, there is a chance of some rain in the north and west of the country. At most another 1 millimeter of rain will fall. Weeronline therefore feels safe to say the record is broken.
The Netherlands is "blind to drought" according to researcher Henny van Lanen of Wageningen University. The country needs to build up larger reserves of fresh water to prevent drinking water running out during extreme droughts, multiple experts warn, Het Parool reports.
"As a low lying country with large rivers, we are always working on preventing wetness. That explains why we are now so surprised by the drought", Van Lanen said to the newspaper. "Dutch water policy is very conservative: the rest of Europe has been arming itself against drought for much longer."
After a cloudy and cool Sunday, the Netherlands can expect sunnier and warmer days this week. Temperatures will climb as the week progresses, though probably not as high as last week's heatwave, Weerplaza expects.
The number of wildfires in the Netherlands increased significantly this year. So far in 2018 there were already more wildfire reports than there were in the entire 2016 and 2017, according to figures from alarmeringen.nl, RTL Nieuws reports.
In 2016 a total of 1,293 reports were made of forest, heath and other wildfires. In 2017 there were 1,530. The wildfire report counter for this year already stands at 1,728.
Last night was the hottest night ever in the Netherlands since temperatures measurements started in 1901. The minimum in De Bilt was 23.6 degrees Celsius, breaking the previous record from 9 August 2004 of 20.8 degrees, Weerplaza reports.
Maastricht had a higher minimum temperature in 2012, but official records are always measured at the weather station in De Bilt.
Deelen in Gelderland was the warmest last night, with a minimum of 24.4 degrees. Flevoland, the Wadden area and the western parts of Zeeland all also had minimums of above 23 degrees Celsius.
The Dutch union for arable farmers NAV asked Minister Carola Schouten of Agriculture to let potato farmers irrigate their crops with surface water, also in areas where a ban is currently in place. The NAV warns that many farmers are in danger due to the persistent drought, ANP reports.
The province of Friesland, Wetterskip Fryslân and water company Vitens are appealing to Friesland residents to take water saving measures. Due to the heat and drought, the demand for drinking water is 30 percent higher than normal, RTL Nieuws reports.
The "unprecedentedly high" demand is resulting in decreased water pressure, especially during peak times and in high buildings.
Friesland residents are called on not to use drinking water for watering their gardens or washing windows and cars. Also keep your shower as short as possible.
On Friday Arriva is running an adjusted timetable with fewer trains on its routes in Groningen and Friesland. The public transit company is struggling with equipment problems caused by the persistent heat, Arriva said on its website.
"In order to be able to offer the most reliable timetable possible, Arriva is therefore working on a modified timetable on Friday", the company said. Arriva train traffic was also affected by these equipment problems on Thursday, according to RTV Noord.
The Netherlands is officially in the midst of a national heatwave. Temperatures measured 30 degrees at De Bilt at 11:20 on Thursday, the third consecutive day of maximums above 30 degrees, making a national heatwave a fact. Heat records were broken at 15 weather stations across the country, NU.nl reports.
For a national heatwave, De Bilt must have five consecutive days with maximums of 25 degrees or higher. Three of those days must measure temperatures of 30 degrees or higher.
After weeks of drought, parts of Zuid- and Midden-Nederland were hit by a rain storm on Thursday evening. One person was killed and one injured in Rotterdam when a tree fell on their car. In Gelderland thousands of homes were without power for a few hours. And Roosendaal was hit by a whirlwind, NOS and AD report.
Meteorological institute KNMI issued a code yellow warning for Noord-Brabant, Zuid-Holland, Zeeland, Gelderland and Utrecht on Thursday night. The service predicted thunderstorms, with gusts up to 70 kilometers per hour and hailstones up to 2 centimeters.
The Krabbeplas near Vlardingen was closed for swimming on Wednesday after the discovery of thousands of dead fish in the lake. They likely died due to the heat, RTV Rijnmond reports.
Passersby saw the dead fish floating in the lake on Wednesday morning and called Staatsbosbeheer, which decided to close down the area around the lake. Visitors were already warned against swimming in the lake due to blue-green algae.
Samples were taken from the lake, to find out why the fish died.
Gritters in the summer seem to be an unusual sight, but one that is happening in the Netherlands this week. A number of Dutch municipalities deployed gritters to sprinkle salt against melting asphalt, ANP reports.
It is currently drier in the Netherlands than it was on July 25th, 1976 - the driest year in the Netherlands since measurements started. The average precipitation across the Netherlands stands at 261 mm on Wednesday. In 1976 it was 257 mm, according to Weeronline.
Whether the absolute drought record from 1976 will be broken this year, depends on what August's rainfall will look like, according to the weather service. In 1976 the precipitation deficit increased to 363 mm in August.
The chance of smog formation is increasing due to the persistently high temperatures, public health institute RIVM warns. Air quality will be bad in the middle and east of the country while the high temperatures last, NU.nl reports.
The RIVM advises people sensitive to smog to stay indoors and limit physical exertion, especially in the late afternoon and the early evening, as air pollution is at its worst at those times.
Heerlen and Landgraaf in Limburg were hit by four light earthquakes on Monday morning. The first quake had a magnitude of 2.4 and happened at a depth of 5 kilometers at Heerlen.
The subsequent quakes happened deeper and had magnitudes of 1.5, 1.9 and 1.3 on the Richter scale, according to measurements by meteorological institute KNMI, NU.nl reports.
The earthquakes were hardly felt and such earthquakes rarely cause damage to buildings.
Meteorological institute KNMI issued a code orange weather warning for extreme heat in the entire country, except for the Wadden area. The warning is in place from 10:00 a.m. on Wednesday until Friday.
The Netherlands is dealing with tropical temperatures this week, with maximum temperatures above 30 degrees. Thursday and Friday will be especially hot. Maximums of 35 degrees Celsius or higher are expected inland and in urban areas. The nights will also be warm, with minimus around 20 degrees.
Large ships can not use the so-called Oostroute through Amsterdam from Tuesday. As a result of the continuing and extreme heat, the metal of the bridges set out to such an extent that they are "locked" and can not open to let large ships through, a spokesperson for the municipality of Amsterdam said to ANP.
Cooling the bridges with water from the canals no longer helps. The 12 bridges will therefore remain closed until further notice.
Waterboards across the Netherlands warn swimmers to keep a careful eye out for blue-green algae during the hot days. The algae can cause serious skin and eye irritations for those who come into contact with it, the Telegraaf reports.
Blue-green algae already emerged on five beaches in the Flevopolder, for example.
Tuesday is the start of a very hot couple of days in the Netherlands. Weeronline expects temperatures to climb up to 37 degrees Celsius by the end of the week.
On Tuesday the eastern parts of the Randstad can expect maximums around 32 degrees. Rotterdam and Amsterdam will hit 30 degrees. The central parts of the country will see maximums between 32 and 35 degrees - the hottest it's been all year. The Wadden area, parts of Noord-Holland and along the west coast will be slightly cooler, with maximums ranging between 27 and 29 degrees, according to the weather service.