Traffic in the northern state of Schleswig-Holstein was heavily affected by snowfall, police reported. Multiple accidents were clustered in the districts of Schleswig-Flensburg and Northern Friesland, and two people were injured overnight, they added.
Meanwhile icy roads in the southern state of Baden-Württemberg caused some 40 accidents in just two hours along the A81 motorway in Ludwigsburg county, police said. One collision involved a beet-laden truck that was hit by another car after sliding into a road barrier around 6 am. The truck driver was trapped in the vehicle and severely injured.
Police closed the A81 into Heilbronn due to the extremely icy conditions, causing traffic jams several kilometres long. Winter storms in nearby Heidelberg forced the closure of the A5 motorway, and the 600a and B535 were also impassable.
More snow and freezing temperatures are expected as a low-pressure system continues to send cold air through central Europe, the German Weather Service (DWD) reported.
On Thursday, up to 10 centimetres of snow could fall in coastal areas in Schleswig-Holstein and Lower Saxony. Later in the day snow will likely cover low mountain ranges in the eastern part of the country too.
Friday will be continue to be snowy in eastern and northern Germany, where temperatures will top out between -1 and -8 degrees Celsius. Light snow will continue in many places overnight into Saturday as temperatures reach as low as -15 degrees in the south.
The northern coast will see snowfall on Sunday, though it may turn to rain as the day goes on. Temperatures will average -5 degrees but could drop as low as -10 in the south and east, the DWD said.
While cloud cover will dissipate in the Alps on Sunday, northern and central Germany could get up to 10 centimetres of new snow and rain on the Baltic and North Sea coast. The air will likely warm to exceed freezing.
While more snow is expected in the week to follow, the DWD hesitated to predict a white Christmas, saying that current weather patterns are too “complicated” to make an accurate report.