A summer storm that blew across the Netherlands overnight was less severe than the weather services expected. Meteorological institute KNMI withdrew its code orange weather warning for very strong winds just after 11:30 p.m., earlier than expected, RTL Nieuws reports.
Meteorological institute KNMI issued a code orange warning for very strong winds in the western parts of the country. On Thursday night and early on Friday morning gusts between 80 and 110 kilometers per hour are expected.
The code orange warning applies to Zeeland, Zuid-Holland, Noord-Holland, Flevoland, Friesland and the Wadden islands. A code yellow warning applies to the rest of the country, where wind speeds are expected to reach between 75 and 90 kilometers per hour.
A summer storm will hit the Netherlands on Thursday, according to Weeronline. Meteorological institute KNMI issued a code yellow warning for strong winds during the evening.
The hot weather in the Netherlands over the past weeks did not cause an increase in the number of deaths in the country, public health institute RIVM said. According to the institute, this is because many people who were already weakened passed away in the winter, and because the Dutch are getting better at protecting themselves against the heat, AD reports.
Tuesday will still be very hot in the Netherlands, but after Wednesday temperatures will drop to what is normal for August, according to Weerplaza. The weather service expects maximums of between 20 and 25 degrees later this week.
Maximums ranging between 30 and 37 degrees are expected for Tuesday. Cloud cover will increase from the afternoon, and there is a chance of showers or thunderstorms overnight.
There is a good chance of smog in the entire Netherlands on Tuesday, public health institute RIVM warns. Those sensitive to dirty air, for example people with respiratory problems, are advised to stay inside, especially during the afternoon and early evening, RTL Nieuws reports.
"For the entire country, air quality can be bad, but the highest concentrations are expected in the east", the RIVM said. The smog will be at its worst during the afternoon and early evening.
Vegetable giant Greenco is giving away some 6 million cherry tomatoes for free. Due to the hot weather, the tomatoes saw too much sun, causing their skin to become wrinkled. They can therefore no longer be sold because their quality is too low for supermarkets.
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.
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.
The Dutch police rescued children from sweltering cars in two separate incidents on Thursday. Both incidents were reported to Veilig Thuis, the hotline for domestic violence and child abuse, ANP reports.
Two children were taken from a hot car parked at a supermarket in Ter Aar, Zuid-Holland. The kids' father, a 38-year-old man from Kaag en Braassem, was arrested.
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.
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.