Monday is officially the first ‘tropical’ day of 2022, with the temperature topping 30 Celsius at the key De Bilt weather station near Utrecht, weather bureau KNMI said.
The highest temperature recorded was 33.6 Celsius in the Zeeland village of Westdorpe.
Tuesday is set to be even hotter with temperatures up to 38 Celsius predicted in the south. The KNMI has issued a code orange weather warning for the central and southern Netherlands, warning that the high temperatures could pose a risk to life.
Public transport companies are gearing up to take special precautions to cope with the expected heat. Dutch railway company NS has carried out extra checks on air conditioning systems and bus and tram companies will allow passengers to drink on board, news website Nu.nl reported.
However, rail operator ProRail said it cannot guarantee there will be no impact on services.
Dozens of daycare centres will remain closed or close early because of the heat, forcing parents to take time off work.
Trade union federation FNV has called on employers to make sure staff are safe and to adapt working hours for people who work outside in particular. The union also wants formal agreements to be made on working in high temperatures given they are occurring more frequently.
‘An employer has to ensure a safe and healthy place of work, so you can ask for this,’ deputy chairwoman Kitty Jong told broadcaster NOS.
Since records began in 1901, the temperature has only topped 35 Celsius in De Bilt on nine occasions. The warmest temperature recorded in the Netherlands was 40.7 degrees, which was reached at the Gilze-Rijen weather station in Noord-Brabant on July 25, 2019. The previous record was 38.6 degrees, set in 1944.
The temperature will drop by around 10 degrees on Wednesday, when some rain is also likely.
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