Thursday, June 07, 2007

“I bet you don’t miss the English weather!?”

Many times when I have introduced myself to a Dutch person, or when I’m speaking to a Dutch person about England, they will say “I bet you don’t miss the English weather!?” By this they are, of course, referring to the fact that it rains a lot in England. It does rain a lot in England, I agree, but I certainly don’t think that it rains a lot more in England than in the Netherlands. And it certainly doesn’t justify this, oh so very common, comment.

So I looked it up today, on the BBC website, to see whether these people really did have a point or not.

Turns out they are wrong. On average it rains more here than in London. See chart below. (The location of this place in the Netherlands “De Bilt” is unknown to me, but apparently it’s pretty much the most average place between Rotterdam and Amsterdam.)

The average precipitation and the number of wet days per month are higher every month of the year in De Bilt than in London. The Dutch are lucky to have a few more hours of sunshine during the course of the year – but not many. The temperatures are pretty much the same, except the Netherlands is colder in the winter.

So next time someone says “I bet you don’t miss the English weather!?” I can say “Yes, actually I do miss the English weather, because on average it rains less in London”.

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