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Berlin faces record cold start to December

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Photo: DPA
07:56 CET+01:00
Berlin is set for the coldest start to December on record, the German Weather Service (DWD) said Wednesday, as freezing temperatures and snow continued to cause transport chaos across the country.

DWD meteorologist Gerd Saalfrank said the temperature could drop as low as -13 degrees Celsius overnight with wind chill taking the effective temperature down to -22 degrees. The surrounding state of Brandenburg would be even colder.

The daunting news came as flight cancellations continued at Germany’s busiest airport Wednesday morning with Frankfurt stopping at least 39 flights because of snow and ice.

Click here for photos of the winter weather chaos.

Saalfrank said the previous record for the lowest temperature in Berlin on December 1 was -10.8 degrees in 1931.

“We have a good chance of beating that,” he said. “We’re expecting temperatures overnight in Berlin to be as low as -12 or -13 degrees. In Brandenburg you can add another two degrees below that.”

It would snow through the night, dumping five centimetres on Berlin and 10 centimetres in Brandenburg, he added.

Weather service Meteomedia’s storm centre warned of heavy snowfall for the northern states of Schleswig-Holstein and Mecklenburg-Western Pomerania for Wednesday night. Parts of those states could expect 15 centimetres of snow, the centre said.

Frankfurt airport’s western runway was only partly usable because of strong winds of up to 15 knots. Pilots were free to decide whether or not to fly. Airport spokeswoman Waltraud Riehemann said at least 39 flights had been cancelled and many more delayed.

Air traffic was taking off and landing normally in Berlin, said a spokeswoman for Berliner Flughäfen, which manages Tegel and Schönefeld airports.

“There have been no reports to me that flights will be cancelled today because of bad weather,” she said.

On Tuesday, some 300 flights had been cancelled at Frankfurt because of snow and ice on the runways, leaving thousands of travellers stranded. About 400 camp beds were set up for people with nowhere else to stay, though most were taken to hotels.

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Click here for The Local's weather forecast.

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