April in the Netherlands was wet, gloomy and colder than average, with the temperature at the De Bilt weather station failing to break 18 degrees.
While parts of southern Europe experienced heatwaves at the end of April, the KNMI’s headquarters have yet to reach 20C so far, for the first time since 1997.
April 30 was the warmest day so far, with a maximum of 17.9C, while the average temperature over the whole month was 8.7C, well below the seasonal average of 9.9C.
Some regions broke the 20C barrier in the third week, with Groningen setting the pace with the first official ‘warm day’ on April 21.
It is the third year in a row that April has been relatively cold. In 2022 the average temperature was 9.9C and De BIlt had a top temperature of 20.6C, while the year before the average was just 6.7C.
Worst start since 1992
Forecasters say the first 20C day is likely to be in the second half of May, with temperatures dropping back to 10C-12C in midweek before climbing again towards the weekend. Heavy showers could fall in eastern parts of the country on Monday before the clouds start to clear on Tuesday, Weeronline said.
Recent years have seen four or five warm days by April 30, peaking in 2007 when there were 14 days of 20C or more and a top temperature of 28.9C on April 12.
The last time the 20C barrier was broken so late in the year was 1992, when the first warm day in De Bilt was May 14. An even more exceptional year was 1983, when the 20C mark wasn’t reached until May 31.
April also saw twice as much rainfall as normal, with 80mm on average compared to 41mm in a normal year. And for the first time since 2018 the sun shone for less than 200 hours during the month, with just 185 hours recorded.
Despite the dismal conditions, the first four months of 2023 were the 10th warmest on record, with an average temperature of 6.8C, mainly due to the warm start to the year including a record for January of 15.6C on New Year’s Day.
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