• Germany's news in English
 

Warm weather wipes out white Christmas wishes

Published: 24 Dec 2012 11:43 GMT+01:00

The German Weather Service (DWD) said on Monday that some people in the southern regions of the country could be celebrating Christmas in shorts and T-shirts, as temperatures would well into the double digits.

But the north-east was expected to remain cool, with just six degrees in areas like the Uckermark, but even this was too much for winter sports in the central Harz mountains where the tourist board said only a few ski runs remained open.

The 60 centimetres of snow that was seen on Sonnenberg for example in the middle of the month, has shrunk to around 25 centimetres, while the area was expected to be as warm as eight Celsius with rain on Monday and the coming few days.

Rain and snowmelt had the River Rhine threatening to flood in some areas, with the Cologne High Water Protection Centre registering a level of more than eight metres on Monday. It was rising by around three centimetres an hour. Ships are banned from travelling there as soon as it reaches 8.30 metres.

Click here for The Local's weather forecast

Cologne's old town centre was not yet affected in the middle of the morning, and does not generally flood until the Rhine reaches at least nine metres. But flood protection measures, such as mobile walls were being set up on Monday in case the river were to continue rising.

The last flooding of Cologne was in 2003, when the river level reached 9.71 metres, while during the 1995 'Flood of the Century', it reached as high as 10.69 metres.

Although the warm weather this week feels unseasonable, the DWD said it was not so unusual at this time of year.

Thomas Ruppert from the DWD said even the top expected temperatures of around 18 degrees this week were, "not something to knock you off your stool."

"A Christmas thaw is a common phenomenon," he said, pointing to the end of the 1970s and early 1980s when such conditions repeatedly stymied hopes of a white Christmas.

Tuesday is expected to be rainy for many areas, with temperatures between eight and 13 Celsius, and snow only in upper Alpine areas.

Wednesday will be cloudy with showers and although temperatures are expected to fall a little, they will still remain between five and ten degrees.

DPA/DAPD/The Local/hc

The Local (news@thelocal.de)

Your comments about this article

Today's headlines
Satire and reality blur in parody party's strife
Martin Sonneborn. Photo: DPA

Satire and reality blur in parody party's strife

After winning a seat in the European Parliament last year on a commitment to 'milking Brussels,' satirical party Die Partei broke new ground. Now a 'Nazi Putsch' threatens to split the party asunder. READ  

Pelicans with wanderlust escape German zoo
These feathered fugitives took flight from the zoo to get a birds-eye view of the world. Photo: DPA.

Pelicans with wanderlust escape German zoo

A pair of pelicans with a serious case of wanderlust flew the coop from Osnabrück Zoo last week, only to find their way back days later. READ  

Fake plastic surgeon sentenced to 4 years
Christian B. sits in court where he was sentenced to four years and three months in prison for falsely presenting himself as a doctor. Photo: DPA.

Fake plastic surgeon sentenced to 4 years

A man who performed cosmetic surgery on more than 50 different patients using fake medical certificates was sentenced to four years and three months in prison on Monday. READ  

Doctor on trial after woman wakes in morgue
Photo: DPA

Doctor on trial after woman wakes in morgue

A doctor from North Rhine-Westphalia will face charges for negligence and bodily harm, authorities said on Tuesday – after accidentally sending a living woman to the morgue. READ  

'Straw hat' robbers leave flowers as calling card
Photo: DPA

'Straw hat' robbers leave flowers as calling card

Brandenburg police are searching for two men who held up a goldsmiths' shop, leaving a pistol at the scene - as well as a bunch of sunflowers. READ  

Small town family disappears without trace
Photo: Winsen and Harburg police.

Small town family disappears without trace

No one has seen husband and wife Sylvia and Marco Schulze or their daughter, 12-year-old Miriam, since Thursday. Helicopters and search dogs have failed to find any trace of the family, leading local media and police to wonder: Where are the Schulzes? READ  

German army takes over Mali mission
Ursula von der Leyen in Mali on Monday. Photo: DPA

German army takes over Mali mission

Defence Minister Ursula von der Leyen visited Mali on Tuesday on the day that the Bundeswehr (German army) takes over control of the EU-training mission in the troubled west African state. READ  

Somalia suicide bomber was German: reports
The blast in Mogadishu killed 15 people. Photo: DPA

Somalia suicide bomber was German: reports

Information from security circles in Mogadishu suggests the suicide bomber who blew up a five-star hotel in the Somali capital on Sunday killing 15 people was a dual-national German from Bonn. READ  

Ex-minister: Merkel's Greece policy is 'fatal'
Former German vice-chancellor and foreign minister Joschka Fischer. Photo: DPA.

Ex-minister: Merkel's Greece policy is 'fatal'

Joschka Fischer, former German vice-chancellor and foreign minister between 1998 and 2005, unleashed an uncompromising attack on Chancellor Angela Merkel over her Greek policy in an article published by newpspaper Süddeutsche Zeitung on Monday. READ  

Two court cases to test criminal links to Isis
Photo: DPA

Two court cases to test criminal links to Isis

Islamic State members in Germany have turned to petty crime and selling stolen artifacts to fund the extremist group's war efforts, reports Der Westen. READ  

RECEIVE OUR NEWSLETTER AND ALERTS
Society
Six odd things Germans do in the summer
Sponsored Article
Outsourcing drives Apreel's Europe growth
Society
Police bust kinky Bavarian couple over painful love-making
Politics
Merkel brings Palestinian girl to tears
National
Could Merkel learn a lesson in love from this doppelganger?
Hamburg
Amateur archaeologist finds Nazi gold hoard
Travel
Why you should stay in Germany for the summer holidays
Sport
German press tell Schweinsteiger 'good riddance'
National
Hamburg gets a bouncing 100kg baby girl
Society
In North Germany, money sometimes DOES grow on trees
National
Hero mechanics stop Bavaria shooting spree
International
Denmark says that border controls are coming
National
Did hackers take control of German missile battery?
Politics
Munich gives gay pride green light
Business & Money
Berlin rent controls hit prices hard
National
Fighting to breastfeed in public without shame
Society
Ice cream for dogs 'gobbled up in one gulp'
Education
Are hotpants a feminist issue?
Rhineland
Lion cub reunited with mother
National
How the heatwave is cracking Germany's Autobahns
International
Why the French are more sympathetic to Greece than the Germans
Sponsored Article
Crans-Montana: International expat hub
Gallery
Police seize pensioner's WW2 heavy weapons haul
National
How to survive the Europe-wide heatwave
Sport
Is Schweini already out of the door at Bayern?
Politics
How German media shaped the Greece crisis
National
Car assembly robot crushes worker at Volkswagen
Rhineland
Weathermen red-faced over heatwave snow warning
Society
An eye for an eye? Mum protects child in playground with pepperspray
National
As it happened: Queen Elizabeth's final day in Germany
National
As it happened: Queen Elizabeth's second day in Germany
National
Queen Elizabeth II's first day in Germany - as it happened
National
Bus passengers tell fake racists where to get off
Politics
What's really in the Queen's handbag?
National
Germans say USA doesn't respect freedom
National
Yes, you CAN buy adult e-books before 10pm in Germany
VIDEO: Watch a 93-metre turbine crash to earth in slow motion
Gallery
Who's got a shot at the German Film Awards
Rhineland
Anger over 'child-free' beer garden
Latest news from The Local in Austria

More news from Austria at thelocal.at

Latest news from The Local in Switzerland

More news from Switzerland at thelocal.ch

Latest news from The Local in Denmark

More news from Denmark at thelocal.dk

Latest news from The Local in Spain

More news from Spain at thelocal.es

Latest news from The Local in France

More news from France at thelocal.fr

Latest news from The Local in Italy

More news from Italy at thelocal.it

Latest news from The Local in Norway

More news from Norway at thelocal.no

Latest news from The Local in Sweden

More news from Sweden at thelocal.se

7,098
jobs available
Toytown Germany
Germany's English-speaking crowd