Temperatures on the highest peak in the region, the Fichtelberg, plunged to a frosty -6 degrees Celsius. Strong winds are also expected near Germany's eastern border with the Czech Republic, which could make certain roads impassable. Drivers are encouraged to avoid driving if at all possible, the DWD said.
Early on Thursday morning snow was already falling at lower elevations in Dresden and Görlitz.
Black ice caused accidents further south in Bavaria, sparking major traffic delays, police in the region reported. Drivers without snow tyres should avoid driving in alpine regions, where streets above 500 metres could be extremely dangerous.
Cold and stormy weather will likely keep an icy grip on Germany until the middle of next week, the DWD said. While it is “relatively cold” for this time of year, DWD spokesperson Christian Herold said the temperatures did not stem from a “dramatic weather phenomenon” and no records have yet been broken.
Meanwhile the first autumn storm surge is expected on the Baltic Sea coast up north, as sea water levels rose up to 1.5 metres on Wednesday night.