Roads dangerous with more snow on the way

Motorists in Germany had to contend with snow and wintry driving conditions on Tuesday morning, as meteorologists forecast up to 40 centimetres of snow in some areas.

Roads dangerous with more snow on the way
Photo: DPA

Closed streets, jackknifed semi trucks, and two fatalities plagued German roads throughout the night as heavy snowfall hammered the country for a second night. While traffic in northern and western Germany was a bit more manageable due to higher temperatures, there were numerous accidents in the southern part of the country.

Icy roads in upper Bavaria near Haag killed one driver in a head on collision with a semi truck on the B12 motorway. Another driver was seriously injured in the accident. Another head on collision between a car and a bus left another 25-year-old driver dead in Deisenhausen in the same state, police reported.

In the southwestern state of Baden-Württemberg several buildings were damaged by cars sliding out of control near Crailsheim. And near Karlsruhe large trucks struggled to stay on the road on the B36, which police said was littered with overturned vehicles.

The German Weather Service (DWD) predicted “lots of snow” in higher altitudes and the Black Forest region, with a thick blanket of up to 20 centimetres of snow in the Alps. The southern Allgäu region could get up to 40 centimetres, DWD said.

Western Germany can expect snow or rain as cloud cover eases throughout the day. Northern and eastern Germany will have clear skies by evening after snow ends there. Temperatures will likely remain around zero degrees Celsius, DWD said.

Click here for The Local’s weather forecast.


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.