Heavy rain and thunderstorms over much of the country on Monday evening led to localised flooding in many places as drains were unable to cope with the volume of water. In Amsterdam and Rotterdam, the emergency services were called to deal with flooded cellars and roads while in The Hague storm drains lost their lids and toilets could not cope.
Trouw reported that lightning caused several fires. Amsterdam’s Schiphol airport came to a virtual standstill for an hour, with planes unable to take off and passengers unable to leave planes which had landed until the risk of lightning had subsided.
Similar storms are expected in the west of the country today, the KNMI weather bureau says. However, the storm front is now moving to Germany, where temperatures have reached over 38 degrees Celsius in the past few days.
Despite the number of thunderstorms in recent weeks, this year’s weather is not exceptional, the KNMI says. On average, there is thunder and lightning 25 days a year in the Netherlands.
The current storms have been caused by the warm spring, which meant the sea water temperature was hotter than normal. While warmer winters will lead to more heavy showers in the summer, the KNMI says it is not clear if there will also be an increase in thunder and lightning.
One man was killed on the Wadden island of Texel after being hit by lightning on Sunday. Earlier this year, another person was killed by lightning in Brabant. On average, two people die every year in the Netherlands after being hit by lightning.
People should avoid cycling and Nordic walking during thunderstorms because metal acts as a conductor, experts told the Telegraaf. People who are wet or sweating are also more likely to be hit.
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