While quite some of my followers are suffering from the heat in Australia, most of you are in the northern hemisphere, like we are in the Netherlands, where it is winter. Dutch winters were never very severe, but since global warming really became noticeable in the last twenty years, the number of snow days has decreased even more. This phenomenon hasn’t stopped yet. There was a clear turning point in the 1980s when the snow depth really decreased. Snow is now so rare that it exites a lot of us very much.
Not only global warming is the cause for less snow. The dominant wind direction in winter has also changed. The wind used to come from a predominantly north-eastern direction, which gives us cold directly from the arctic and Russia. Now, the wind more often comes from the south-west, which means the relatively warmer North sea brings the temperatures over freezing point and we get rain instead of snow. It is telling that our weather service counts the snowfall in hours per year, not even in days!
I tell you this to try to make you understand why I get so exited when there is snow for a change! I was especially happy to experience the snow while I was in Utrecht. That had been a really long time ago. My last post showing snow in Utrecht is from 2010!
Tuesday 22 January 2019 was the day the snow would fall. The weather services had predicted it for days and sure enough, from 11 in the morning, the snow started to fall in Utrecht. During my lunch break I went into the city centre, while it was still snowing, to see how the Dutch adjust their cycling habits. Or rather – how they do not. If you had gone to school by bike that morning you needed to go back like that as well, of course. There didn’t seem to be a lot less cycling than on a usual Tuesday afternoon. Children cycled home from school, men and women ran errands and went from one place to another on their bicycles to do so. There were even people who didn’t wear gloves or a hat. The snow was still falling and all these snow flakes made my camera act up. The images are less sharp than usual, but I hope you still find them nice enough to look at. As an experiment, I filmed in slow motion for a change, so you can really see what it is like to cycle in the snow. Enjoy!
This week’s video: cycling in the snow of Utrecht.
For Wednesday 30 January (the publication date of this post) there are new weather warnings, predicting up to 5 centimeters of snow in Utrecht in the afternoon.