Heavy storms slam northern Germany

Bad weather including lightning, strong winds, and heavy rain swept across northern Germany on Thursday night, uprooting trees and disrupting road and rail traffic.

Heavy storms slam northern Germany

The German state of Lower Saxony was particularly hard hit by the storm.

A landspout – a type of low-grade tornado – blew over Rothenburg an der Wümme, knocking over countless trees. One person was slightly injured after a tree fell on top of a car. Another tree blocked railway service from Rothenburg to Bremen after a train slammed into it.

A gust of wind also toppled a tree into the power line along the railway from Bremen to Hannover, which had to be closed after the tree caught fire. One house in Hannover even had its roof ripped off by winds.

Heavy rain also temporarily closed several roads, including the A27 autobahn near Langwedel. Emergency services said they received over 100 calls in a short period of time.

The coastal state of Schleswig-Holstein was also hit by strong thunderstorms and wind gusts, which damaged a boating facility.

The low pressure system “Christine” is likely to ensure Germany’s weather heading into the weekend remains wet and cool, according the German Weather Service.

On Friday, it will rain in the region near the Alps and clouds will bring showers or strong thunderstorms to much of the rest of the country. Temperatures will range between 19 to 25 degrees Celsius during the day and 10 to 15 degrees overnight.

Saturday will start off a mixed bag, however, the next storm front from the northwest will bring more rain towards evening. Temperatures will range from 18 to 22 degrees.


What temperatures can we expect in Germany this week?

Parts of Germany will see another heatwave this week as temperatures soar.

What temperatures can we expect in Germany this week?

The German Weather Service (DWD) has predicted that the mercury will climb in some regions of to around 34C this week. 

“After low pressure ‘Karin’ gave parts of Germany rain, sometimes in large quantities, high pressure ‘Piet’ is now back in pole position,” said meteorologist Lars Kirchhübel of the DWD.

This high pressure zone will dominate the weather in large parts of western and central Europe over the coming days, the weather expert said, adding that it will reach Germany too. 

On Monday temperatures remained fairly cool across the country after a weekend of showers, but they are set to climb over the course of the week, particularly on Wednesday and Thursday. Forecasters predict it could reach 32C in Stuttgart and 33C in Cologne on Thursday. Locally, temperatures could reach 34C. 

However, from the Oder and Neisse rivers to the Erzgebirge mountains and southeast Bavaria, denser clouds and some showers are to be expected. This is due to a high-level low pressure system over the Balkan region, according to forecasters. Short showers are also possible in the Black Forest.

“In most of the rest of the country, high ‘Piet’ will be able to hold its ground,” said Kirchhübel.

READ ALSO: Heavy rain in Bavaria swells rivers, but flooding avoided

At the end of the week, thunderstorms are forecast but temperatures are expected to remain high. 

August in Germany ‘too dry’

According to the European Centre for Medium-Range Weather Forecasts, August as a whole – apart from a few areas in eastern Germany – will be too dry compared to the multi-year average.

The Black Forest, the High Rhine and the Allgäu to the Bavarian Forest, however, are not expected to have any major problems due to the high rainfall of the past few days.

“Looking at Rhineland-Palatinate, the southern half of Hesse, the western half of North Rhine-Westphalia and Lower Franconia shows a different picture,” said Kirchhübel. In the last 30 days, only about 10 percent of the usual level of precipitation fell in some places.

“At some stations, no precipitation at all has been measured in August,” added Kirchhübel, referencing Würzburg as an example.

Rainfall at the weekend caused the water in the Rhine river to rise slightly. In Emmerich, the water level reached a positive value again after the historic low of the past few days: in the morning, it showed three centimetres – an increase of six centimetres compared to the previous day.

The water level also rose by several centimetres at the other measuring points in North Rhine-Westphalia: in Cologne, the level rose to 80cm and in Düsseldorf to 38cm.

READ ALSO: Damaged freighter blocks traffic at drought-hit Rhine

Despite this encouraging trend, the Waterways and Shipping Authority said it did not expect a huge improvement in water levels in the foreseeable future due to more hot weather coming.