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Dutch Bask in Warmest Autumn in Three Centuries

by: AFP    20 November 2006

The autumn of 2006 has been the warmest in the Netherlands for over 300 years, 12.5 percent hotter than the previous year which was already a record, meteorologists said.

"Beating the record by more than one degree centigrade, that is exceptional," the Royal Netherlands Meteorological Institute said in a statement.

The average temperature for the months leading up to November 17 was up to 13.5 degrees (56 degrees F), as compared to 12 degrees last year, which was already the hottest autumn on record.

The average over the last three centuries for this period of the year has been 9.9 degrees.

At least three factors are responsible for the increased temperatures, the Institute said: global warming, winds from the south that have blown over the Netherlands more than in most years, and a slower cooling down after an exceptionally hot summer, especially in July.