Wednesday 22 January 2020

RIVM issues smog warning as temperatures near 40 Celsius

Cooling down on the Mercatorplein in Amsterdam. Photo: Michael Utrecht via HH

The RIVM public health institute issued a smog alarm for parts of the Netherlands on Thursday, saying the air quality is ‘extremely poor’ in areas of Noord-Brabant, Zuid-Holland, Limburg, Zeeland, Noord-Holland, Flevoland and Utrecht.

A smog alarm warns that everyone can be affected by air pollution, not just vulnerable groups.

People with breathing trouble are recommended to stay indoors, if cool, and to avoid heavy physical exercise. The afternoons and early evening are the worst times of day for smog.

On Wednesday the heatwave set a new record temperature in the Netherlands, when the Eindhoven weather station recorded 39.3 Celsius. A new record could be set on Thursday.

‘That is the expectation,’ NOS weatherman Gerrit Hiemstra said. ‘These temperatures are unique for the Netherlands and it is almost surreal. The weather is offering us a glimpse at our future climate.’

Friday will also be hot and sunny, with temperatures reaching 35 degrees in the south, but the weekend will be cooler, with thunderstorms, the KNMI weather bureau said.

Next week too it will be hot, with temperatures in the high 20s, with some cloud and a 30% chance of rain.

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