Winter hits the west, causes traffic trouble
Published: 07 Dec 2012 12:14 GMT+01:00
Updated: 07 Dec 2012 12:14 GMT+01:00
Winter hit large parts of north western Germany hard on Friday morning, with heavy snowfall which started at sunrise expected to continue throughout the day, causing traffic chaos and creating conditions for an icy weekend.
The low pressure system already dumping snow on the south and east of the country reached North Rhine-Westphalia (NRW) on Friday, German weather service the DWD said.
The state's larger cities, like Düsseldorf and Bonn were plunged into traffic chaos during rush hour and are likely to be completely covered in snow by the evening.
Commuters in Cologne got stuck in winding traffic jams, one of which on the busy A1 motorway stretched back eight kilometres, local paper the Kölner Stadt Anzeiger reported. It added that there had been between 40 and 50 minor accidents on Friday morning.
Long distance train operator Thalys, which has routes between Germany, France and Belgium, said that passengers should expect considerable delays, according to the Express regional daily.
By the evening, meteorologists predict there will be over 10 centimetres of snow in more rural areas of NRW, five centimetres in Duisburg and just two in Dortmund. “It is going to be a really chaotic winter,” Dominik Jung, meteorologist from Wetter.net, told the paper, adding that he expected it to become treacherous.
Temperatures are set to plummet to as low as minus five degrees Celsius, so the snow should stick – and could freeze overnight, making for a dangerous Saturday morning.
Luxembourg police said on Friday that the country had shut its border to heavy good vehicles coming from Germany, as well as other neighbouring lands, because of icy roads. Parts of France and Belgium are following suit.
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