Get used to it: those heat waves keep coming


The chance of another heat wave this year is not great, says Dorrestein. For the rest of August they have a reasonable idea at Buienradar which way the weather is going, and there is nothing to indicate that the weather will be so hot. “Then it would have to happen in September, that seems very strong to me. It could well be very hot for another day or two, but it will probably stop there.”

Five heat waves in three years

But, warns Dorrestein, we will have to get used to the fact that it is sometimes very hot in the Netherlands. “In the almost 120 years that we have been keeping track of the weather, 29 heat waves have been measured. Thirteen of them were after 2000. In 2018 and 2019 we even had two, which is unique. In the past there were sometimes 20 to 30 years between two heatwaves and now we have five in three years. ”

Dorrestein also expects that we have to take more extremes into account. “Last year it already reached more than 40 degrees, this year we broke the record for the number of tropical days in a row – there were eight. This heat wave itself does not last extremely long, that record from 1975 is eighteen days and now we have we probably got fourteen, but because there were so many hot days in a row, people are more affected. ”

Climate is shifting

His colleague William Huizinga adds: “The climate is shifting. It is of course a fact that the earth is warming. For the Netherlands, this means that we have less really cold winters, we can skate less often than, for example, 100 years ago, and also that the relatively cool and wet summers that we experienced change into hot, dry summers. ”

“This is of course partly due to human actions. We emit much more greenhouse gases than 100 years ago and are also with many more people. In addition, other factors play a role that we cannot do anything about, such as wave currents, the atmosphere is terrible. complex.”

Do you want it to be less warm in your house during the next heat wave? Harm Valk of Nieman Advies Advies Ingenieurs gives tips on do’s and don’ts: “Act like a Greek grandmother”, and: “It’s better to invest in sun protection than in an air conditioning.”


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