Saturday night was the coldest April 3 on record, and the skates are out

Chilly sheep near Zundert. Photo: Paul Peters
Chilly sheep near Zundert. Photo: Paul Peeters

It may be officially spring, but in Winterswijk in Gelderland, it was so cold on Saturday night that people are able to skate on natural ice.

The local ice club’s officials worked all night to prepare the rink after weather forecasters predicted record low temperatures.

‘We thought long and hard, but we decided we had to give it a go,’ ice master Hendrik ten Prooije told local broadcaster Omroep Gelderland. ‘This is unique. For the first time, we are skating on natural ice in April.’

In nearby Deelen, the temperature fell to as low as -6.3 Celsius on Saturday night, the lowest temperature ever recorded for April 3.

However, the coldest April night on record is April 12, 1986, when the temperature dropped to -9.4 Celsius at the Deelen air base.

Frost is not uncommon in April. Last year, for example, the temperature fell to below freezing on 18 nights at Eelde, near Groningen, broadcaster NOS reported.

The rest of the week, the KNMI weather bureau is forecasting rain and cloud, with temperatures around eight degrees during the day and rising towards next weekend.

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