Freezing temperatures and the Dutch are already on the ice

RYPTSJERK - De eerste liefhebbers wagen zich op het ijs in de Ryptsjerkerpolder. Vanwege het dunne laagje water is deze plek vaak een van de eerste waar na een nacht vorst als geschaatst kan worden. ANP JILMER POSTMA
Skating fans get ready to test out the Ryptsjerkerpolder. Photo Jilmer Postma ANP

The overnight temperature fell to as low as -10 in sheltered places overnight with clear skies and little wind, giving rise to hopes of a few days skating on natural ice.

Diehards have already been out on the Ryptsjerkerpolder, where the water is shallow enough to freeze quickly. The first outdoor ice rinks are also opening for business – with skaters welcome in Doorn, De Lier and Winterswijk on Tuesday morning.

Other rinks need a couple more nights of good frost, skating association KNSB said.

The icy conditions are expected to continue on roads and cycle tracks until the end of the morning, after temperatures plunged, the KNMI weather bureau said.

In addition, the provinces of Groningen and Drenthe have been hit by fog which may also cause problems for traffic.

Motoring organisation ANWB registered a total of 152 traffic jams stretching 824 kilometres by 8.30am, with the A2 particularly badly affected. Accidents also caused stoppages on the A28, A27 and A16 motorways.

The temperature is not expected to rise much above freezing point on both Tuesday and Wednesday, when there will also be plenty of sunshine. But the weather will change on Sunday, when it will become milder during the day with some showers.

The KNSB has also said last year’s appeal for new ‘ice masters’ – people to take charge of local outdoor rinks and skating areas – had resulted in 400 new recruits.

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