Helga van Leur also found it hard to believe. “Are weather models already doing April 1 jokes?” tweeted the famous meteorologist when she saw the precipitation forecast. It turned out not to be the case: after a period full of warm spring days, the Netherlands suddenly woke up with a layer of snow. Glaciologist and weather forecaster Peter Kuipers Munneke joked that winter time would be reintroduced. Presenter Gallyon van Vessem saw the winter precipitation as a last gesture by the recently deceased weatherman Piet Paulusma. “That Pete. The very last greeting from up there. Beautiful man #snow.”
Meanwhile, snow-covered gardens, balconies and paths flew across the socials and in group apps. Everyone wanted to share this anyway. I also quickly threw a photo of snow-covered daffodils on Instagram, knowing it didn’t really add much.
Sometimes it snows in April, pop legend Prince sang in 1985. But the chance that we can share new winter scenes on our socials is getting smaller and smaller thanks to the climate crisis. We also know this thanks to the researchers who point this out to us. Earlier this month, for example, it was about the unusual and worrying heat around the poles. And on the snow-filled morning it was in NRC read an interview with Professor Kevin Anderson. He says that we will probably not win the fight against climate change and that the average temperature worldwide will rise by 3 to 4 degrees.
Light and dark also alternate constantly on the socials. A familiar face appeared among the reports about the climate on Friday. Mitchel Viljeer, collection team leader and executive coordinator for road icing at the municipality of Rotterdam, already stood out with his mega-happy vlogs, in which he talks about his work at the municipality with a Rotterdam accent. For example, he was once seen getting on the back of a garbage truck with a bunch of flowers (“A nice nose”) and then going to a colleague and congratulating him on his tenure. One earlier snow movie even brought him into the TV studio of talk show On 1† “Hatsikideeee”, he shouted when a snowplow drove past during the vlogging in early 2021. The fact that there was also a colleague with short sleeves with him ensured that the video went viral.
In the middle of the night
His new vlog about the April snow did not disappoint. We see him standing in the snow in the middle of the night with two men from the team. “Yes, yes, Rotterdammers, here we are again”, he opens the clip† “It’s white! The white world!” Viljeer does not hide his enthusiasm and almost screams. Looking at his camera, he briefly interviews his team members. They are looking forward to it, as the images show. “Whoo-ooo-hoo, the playground is open again,” says Viljeer afterwards. “We’re going to brave those snowflakes on that snow shovel. We’re going to get them that flake!”
He closes with a final ‘hatsikideeee’. Here is a man who enjoys his job. After 1 minute and 18 seconds of pure joy, it’s done. Let’s hope he can still go out with the snowplow in the future.
The proverbial saying “April sweet sometimes gives a white hat & March stirs its tail” have come true!
— Mitchel Viljeer (@mitchiej123) Apr 1, 2022
A version of this article also appeared in NRC on the morning of April 4, 2022