2023 is on its way to being the wettest since records began in 1906 and local records have already been broken in some places, according to weather bureau KNMI.
Record volumes of rain have fallen since mid October and if it keeps up, the 1998 total of 1109 millimetres of rain will be beaten next month, the KNMI said.
In some places, such as Purmerend north of Amsterdam 1.2 metres of rain have already fallen this year.
While spring was wet, June was extraordinarily dry, the KNMI said in an update. And the heavy rain in recent weeks has presented a nightmare for farmers who still have to bring in their harvests.
The KNMI sees more rain falling well into next week, and little in the way of sunshine. And there is a 60% chance of more of the same up to the end of the month, according to the agency’s long term forecast.
“We expect the volume of rain to reach 1079 millimetres this year,” said KNMI weatherman Frank Selten. “But if December is wetter than normal as well, then 2023 could well be the wettest on record.”
The KNMI said in its latest climate forecasts last month that Dutch summers will be warmer and winters wetter as the earth heats up.
The KNMI says the implications of climate change are “major” for the Netherlands, even in the most optimistic scenario. “It will be warmer every season, with more tropical days and fewer occasions when it freezes all day,” the agency said.
Some 26% of the Netherlands is below sea level and a further 29% is susceptible to river flooding. The Dutch coast is protected by a complicated system of dykes, seawalls and sluices built after the devastating floods of 1953 which left over 1,800 people dead.
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