The central European weather phenomenon can bring an unwelcome final winter blast of frosty temperatures in mid-March, often when the previous winter proved mild.
“A significant temperature increase won't occur before the weekend,” said Gustav Puhr from the Meteomedia weather service.
This year's Märzwinter low pressure system is called “Herbert.” The temperamental weather formation is currently resting over Eastern Europe after feeding off a high pressure system over the northern Atlantic Ocean.
Because the low pressure system moves counter-clockwise, and a high pressure system moves clockwise, the two entities can create strong airflow from the north, German Weather Service (DWD) meteorologist Thomas Ruppert said on Monday.
The same chain of events can also lead to a cold snap called Eisheilige, or “Ice Saints” in May, and the Schafskälte, or “Lamb's Chill" in June.
Unfortunately, knowing a bit about the causes and charming names for unpleasant weather patterns won't be much consolation to those forced to brave heavy showers, sleet and snow on Tuesday as temperatures remain between two and nine degrees Celsius.
On Wednesday, most of Germany will be treated to mirthless cloud cover carrying more rain and heavy snow for higher altitudes, particularly in the Alps. Southerly winds could turn violent at high altitude as temperatures remain below seven degrees Celsius.
While Thursday will begin to show signs of warmer weather to come, the south will still have to contend with dreary clouds, rain and snow. The northern parts of the country will be slightly less wet.