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The weather is for many Dutch people a hot topic. You can’t call a conversation Dutch if people don’t talk, or complain, about the weather.
The Netherlands is bordering the North Sea and therefore has an oceanic climate. That means the winters are relatively gentle and the summers are generally cool. Each year is different than the other year, though. Some summers could have a heatwave even though in previous years, the summers were wet and rainy. Sometimes the seasons are lagging behind on the calendar. For example, the previous winter (2015/2016) only started in late January.
But why are Dutch so fond of the weather? It’s possible that the changing character of the weather might give an answer to this question. A Monday in spring might even have freezing temperatures, whereas in the same week on a sunny Friday, temperatures hit double digits. Then the following week sees a storm with thunder and lightning. In short, the Dutch weather is very unpredictable and because of that, it’s a great subject for a simple conversation!
Nowadays we mainly talk about the weather to save us in certain social situations. It isn’t exactly to discuss the temperature or the amount of rain that fell, but it’s a way to connect to each other and to prevent a feeling of social discomfort. On top of that, it’s proven that discussing trivial subjects, like the weather, shows that people are generally more pleased in life. “The more people talk about things that don’t really matter, such as the weather, the less problems they have”, according to an American researcher.
Because the weather is ever changing, we need methods to be able to determine the weather more carefully. Luckily, there are websites like www.knmi.nl, www.buienradar.nl and www.weeronline.nl to help us predict the weather.