The Netherlands was still in the grip of winter this weekend, with up to 10cm of drifting snow in southern parts and skating on natural ice in the north.
The wind chill factor meant it felt as cold as -16 Celsius in Groningen, despite the sunny spells.
Sunday failed to be the coldest March 24 on record by just 0.1 Celsius. The current record of 2.9 Celsius at the De Bilt weather station dates from 1916. Saturday was the chilliest March 23 since that year.|
A number of outdoor sports matches were cancelled because of the freezing conditions on both days. On flooded parts of the Ryptsjerksterpolder in Frieland, skaters took to the ice, which was as thick as four centimetres in places.
The strong easterly breezes are expected to die down on Monday and Tuesday but it will continue to freeze at night to as low as -8 Celsius in sheltered places.
The prospects for the Easter weekend are uncertain. The night frosts look set to continue and forecasters say at the moment it is unlikely to be warmer than 7 Celsius, well below averages for the end of March.
The coldest Easter on record was in 1964 when it reached 3.9 Celsius. The warmest was two years ago, when it was 26 Celsius.
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