Wednesday was a special day for Dierenrijk Nuenen. Not only was it international polar bear day, but two polar bear cubs born at the zoo late last year were allowed outside for the first time.
There were multiple car accidents, including a number of pileups, in Friesland on Thursday morning, likely due to thick fog. At least two people were seriously injured. The A32 highway between Heerenveen and Widrum is currently closed to traffic, with all on-ramps being blocked, NOS reports.
Multiple cars crashed into each other near Wirdum. There were later more accidents and pileups in the traffic jam that resulted from the first pileup.
Temperatures in De Bilt climbed to 18.4 degrees Celsius on Tuesday, breaking the record for the warmest February day ever measured in the Netherlands, according to Weerplaza. The previous record dated from Monday, when a maximum of 18.3 degrees was measured in De Bilt.
Wednesday will also be an unseasonably warm day, with temperatures ranging from 15 degrees along the coast to up to 20 degrees inland. There is therefore a good chance that this record will be broken again.
Monday February 25th is going down in the record books as both the warmest February day ever measured in the Netherlands, as well as the highest measured temperature in the meteorological winter. Monday therefore broke a monthly record as well as a seasonal record, Weerplaza reports.
On Monday the maximum temperature measured 18.3 degrees Celsius in De Bilt. The previous record dates from February 28th, 1959, when temperatures climbed to 17.3 degrees Celsius at the national weather station in De Bilt.
At least 1 million homes in the Netherlands are at risk of subsidence, according to the knowledge center for dealing with foundation problems KCAF. The number of foundation problems increased considerably because of the extremely low groundwater that resulted from the dry summer last year, the center explained to television program De Monitor.
The coming days will be sunny and unseasonably warm in the Netherlands thanks to a high-pressure area, according to Weerplaza. Wednesday will be the warmest day this week, with maximums around 18 or 19 degrees Celsius. Some places may even get their first 'warm' day of the year at 20 degrees.
While Friday is starting out gray and foggy, the Netherlands can look forward to a sunny weekend with spring-like temperatures, according to Weeronline. The sun will break through the clouds by Friday afternoon, with maximums climbing to between 10 and 12 degrees.
Over the weekend maximums between 12 and 15 degrees are expected. The first half of week will be even warmer. The sun will work overtime and afternoon temperatures can climb to up to 18 degrees. Late next week will see more clouds and a slightly better chance of rain, according to the weather service.
Before the end of this year Rotterdam and The Hague will ban the release of balloons. The city council in both cities approved such a ban on Wednesday. Utrecht is also discussing a ban this week and the expectation is that a majority in the city council will be in favor, NOS reports.
After the exceptionally dry year last year, the Netherlands will continue on the same foot in the coming weeks with little to no rain expected. As the groundwater level has still not recovered to standard everywhere in the Netherlands, this may mean that farmers in some areas will have to kick off the growing season with an irrigation ban. Farmers and waterboards are very concerned, AD reports.
Sunday was the first official spring day of the year in the Netherlands. That means that temperatures climbed to above 15 degrees at the KNMI weather station in De Bilt. The south of the country even saw temperatures above 18 degrees Celsius. The Netherlands can look forward to more spring like weather this week.
On average the first official spring day is only on March 16th. The usual temperatures for early February is around 5 or 6 degrees, Nicolien Kroon of Buienradar said to RTL Nieuws. The earliest official spring day on record was on January 13th, 1993.
Dutch supermarkets are determined to use less and more sustainable packaging, according to supermarkets' association CBL. The goal is to reduce packaging material by 20 percent by 2025, RTL Nieuws reports.
The supermarkets will start with the handling of fruit and vegetables. "The most important question is what the function of the packaging is. Where it is possible and also the sustainable solution, packaging material will be significantly reduced."
The pupils who organized a massive protest march in The Hague last week met with Prime Minister Mark Rutte and Minister Eric Wiebes of Economic Affairs and Climate on Tuesday. They are not satisfied with the results of the talk, and will therefore continue with protests for more to be done against climate change, the organization Youth for Climate announced on Twitter.
Attendees of a party in the Westergasfabriek in Amsterdam were surprised by an uninvited guest on Sunday. A rat snake was found on the dance floor, Amsterdam's Dierenambulance said on Facebook.
"It is a mystery how the snake ended up there", the animal rescue organization said.
One of the the guests was fortunately not afraid of the animal, and picked up the snake and kept it warm while Dierenambulance responded.
The snake spent the night at Dierenambulance, after which is was transferred to the reptile shelter in Zwanenburg.
After a cloudy and wet weekend, the Netherlands can look forward to some spring weather later this week, according to Buienradar. Monday will be a transition day, with a few more showers. But from Monday afternoon the clouds will clear and the days will turn sunny, Brian Verhoeven of Buienradar said to RTL Nieuws.
"Tuesday and Wednesday the weather will be calm, but we still have to deal with some humid air. You may still see some clouds", he said. But then there's a number of sunny days in the expectations. "We will need the sunglasses again. It's really nice weather."
A leak in a tanker containing petrolad, a collective name for oils used in vehicle engines, in Alblasserdam caused a stench in a large part of the Netherlands on Saturday. There were even complaints about the intense smell from Germany. An NL Alert was sent to warn people to keep their doors and windows closed, AD reports.
Prime Minister Mark Rutte called a climate protest by thousands of school kids in The Hague on Thursday "fantastic", but added that they can not demand more far-reaching measures from the cabinet. The Netherlands is already doing a lot for the climate, compared to other European countries, according to the Prime Minister. "Guys, what more do you want?" he said, NOS reports.
Thousands of kids and teenagers in the Netherlands skipped school on Thursday to protest in The Hague for more action to be taken against climate change. They carried banners and signs with slogans like "If the climate were a bank, it would already have been saved". The protest happened peacefully and without incident, NU.nl reports.
In an open letter published in Trouw, 350 Dutch scientists expressed support for school pupils protesting for the climate on Thursday. It is expected that around 10 thousand Dutch pupils will skip school on Thursday to call on the government to do more against climate change.
The Zeeland police arrested a man in Oostburg, in the municipality of Sluis, during the early hours of Monday morning after catching him with 81 sea bass. He was carrying the fish in four large IKEA bags, RTL Nieuws reports.
The man, originally from Rotterdam but currently with no permanent place of residence, told the police that he had caught the fish in Belgium. Since October 2018, it is illegal to catch more than one sea bass for personal consumption. The law was adapted due to the sea bass population declining.
People who work in an office that has plants in it call in sick 20 percent less often than people working in rooms with no plants, according to research by Wageningen University and scientific company Fytagoras. Having plants in the workplace amounts to an average of 1.6 sick days less per employee per year, the researchers concluded, RTL Nieuws reports.
Water board Rivierenland launched a new app that shows Netherlands residents exactly how much their home would flood if river- or sea dikes break. Those with the app on their phone can point the camera to his or her living space and see if water would come into their home. If this is the case, the app will show in real time how the water flows into the room and how high it will rise, RTL Nieuws reports.
A large part of the Netherlands is covered in snow on Friday. It is expected to melt away quickly, but will likely still cause problems during the morning commute. Meteorological institute KNMI issued a code yellow warning for icy roads, applicable to the entire country. And NS is running fewer trains.
Two people were hospitalized after a massive pileup on the A12 off-ramp to Zoetermeer on Thursday. Between 25 and 30 cars collided with each other, a spokesperson for the police confirmed to NU.nl.
The Zoetermeer and The Hague region faced icy and slick roads on Thursday morning, which caused several minor accidents and traffic jams. The police can not yet say whether iciness on the road also caused this pileup.
The off-ramp was cordoned off and the police are investigating the cause of the accident.
Motorists across the country are warned to be careful of icy and slick roads during rush hour on Thursday morning. In Zeeland and Noord-Brabant thick fog may also reduce visibility to less than 200 meters. Meteorological institute KNMI issued a code yellow warning.
Light snow or wet snow is still falling in some areas in the west and north of the country. According to the KNMI, around 2 centimeters of snow will fall before the winter showers leave the country. Due to the snow, there is a chance of icy and slick roads.