Violent storms cause chaos, two deaths

Heavy thunderstorms that sometimes included hail, flooded streets, knocked out power, closed airports and lead to the deaths of two people Friday evening and Saturday morning.

Violent storms cause chaos, two deaths
Photo: DPA

One woman was killed by a lightning strike near the town of Ludwigsburg in Baden-Württemberg, police reported Saturday. A fireman in a nearby town was also killed by a lightning strike while pumping out flooded water. Several others were injured by lightning across the region, including five campers in Rhineland-Palatinate.

“It was bad. We’ve never had something like this before,” a police spokeman in the town of Neuss told the DPA press agency.

The German Weather Service (DWD) said the current hot and humid weather was contributing to the violent storms.

Düsseldorf’s airport was shut down due to the storms for an hour and a half on what was one of the heaviest travel days of the year. Two aircraft were diverted to the Cologne-Bonn airport and others were forced to circle the Düsseldorf airport until it could be reopened.

Power outages and flooding shut down the Porsche factory in Stuttgart, requiring emergency repairs to the facility over the weekend before production can resume again Monday, a company spokesman said.

In Düsseldorf alone, firefighters received over 450 emergency calls. A major autobahn was shut in both directions due to flooding and train service was delayed due to flooding and debris on the tracks. Traffic was disrupted as far away as Munich, where S-Bahn and long-distance train services were delayed.

The German Weather service warned that conditions would remain muggy and could lead to more heavy storms with hail and lightning on Saturday.

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Weather: Germany sees extreme heat and storms

An extreme heat warning was in place for eastern Germany on Monday, while storms were also set to hit the country.

Weather: Germany sees extreme heat and storms

The German Weather Service (DWD) said temperatures could reach 36C on Monday. 

In the morning, the DWD issued an extreme heat warning for eastern regions, as shown below in the map. 

Map of Germany shows the heat warning in the east on Monday June 27th.

Photo: German Weather Service (DWD)

Forecasters said later on Monday, the south and east of the country would be hit by thunderstorms as well as large hailstones, strong winds and heavy rain.

READ ALSO: Germany sees record temperatures

In the north, west and centre of Germany, forecasters predicted clouds and some showers. Over the course of Monday, heavy thunderstorms with heavy rain, hailstones and strong winds are also possible in the north.

“Thunderstorms have occurred in the past few days and will continue in the coming days, as the established weather situation will remain virtually unchanged,” said a spokesperson from the DWD. 

However, the large temperature differences are striking: in the west of Germany, the mercury will only reach just above 20C in places.

Overnight to Tuesday, the DWD predicts thunderstorms – some of them heavy – from the Baltic Sea to the Alps, and later there is set to be more showers. It could still reach 28C in some places, especially in the east.

The DWD said: “The risk of thunderstorms will remain in the southern half of the country, while the northern half will calm down after the last thunderstorms have moved to Poland.

“This will change again on Wednesday night, when showers and thunderstorms, some of them thundery, as well as heavy rain will make their way north. On Wednesday, it will be quite unsettled with muggy temperatures almost all over the country.”

Forecasters said the weather will remain changeable for the rest of the week, but it should become more settled from next weekend.