Dresden joins list of airport closures

Dresden became the latest German airport to shut down due to bad weather as snow and ice on Wednesday continued to wreak havoc with planes, trains and automobiles during the busiest travel week of the year.

Dresden joins list of airport closures
Photo: DPA

After heavy snowfall shortly before 6am, no flights were able to take off from the Saxony city. Planes coming into Dresden were diverted to Leipzig-Halle airport.

It was estimated that no flights would be taking off or landing before 2pm, the airport said in a statement.

The turbulent and chilly weather, which has caused transport chaos across Europe, including forcing the closure of Frankfurt and Düsseldorf airports in recent days, has also begun to seriously affect train services.

Half the high-speed ICE trains on the busy route between Berlin and Munich were set to be cancelled from Wednesday until Sunday, operator Deutsche Bahn announced. They will run every two hours instead of every hour.

“Unfortunately, we are not able to allocate any replacement trains because everything that can run is running,” DB spokesman Andreas Fuhrmann told broadcaster MDR.

He acknowledged the trains would be “very, very full.” Any seat reservation on a cancelled train would lapse, meaning passengers would have to find standing space on another train, he said.

“For that we are very sorry,” he added.

The reason for the delays stems from extra servicing needs owing to the “long-term effects of the severe frost we’ve had in recent days,” Furhmann said.

Berlin’s airports have also not escaped the chaos. Budget airline Easyjet, which flies out of Schönefeld airport, has cancelled more than 70 flights since last Friday, a spokesman said on Wednesday.

Hundreds of passengers, among them many Italians on their way home for Christmas, were stuck at Schönefeld on Tuesday.

Earlier in the week thousands of passengers were forced to overnight at the Frankfurt airport due to severe winter weather conditions.

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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.