Teen skiers die in cliff fall

Two German teenagers have been found dead after a skiing accident in the Austrian state of Vorarlberg, the country’s news agency APA reported on Monday.

Teen skiers die in cliff fall
Photo: DPA

The 18-year-old man and 19-year-old woman from Weingarten, Germany fell into a gorge while skiing off-piste at the Diedamskopf resort in the Alps.

They were reported missing around midnight on Sunday. Some 30 rescue workers were involved in the search.

Meanwhile two climbers missing for more than a week on Germany’s highest peak, the Zugspitze, were presumed dead by police on Monday.

“There is just about no chance of survival with this weather for such a long time,” a spokesperson for the Bavarian police said.

The 31 and 42-year-old men from Ravensburg disappeared while attempting to complete a difficult climb between the 2,268-metre Alpspitze peak and the 2,962-metre Zugspitze. Police said they may have been buried under heavy snow after a fall.

The search for the two was called off over the weekend due to extreme winter weather conditions. Rescue operations are not expected to resume as forecasts predict continued snowfall and negative temperatures.

“The danger that they will also fall is too large,” the spokesperson said.

The first workweek of the New Year began on Monday with frosty temperatures reaching below -15 degrees Celsius, the German Weather Service reported.

The continued winter conditions have proved dangerous for drivers as well as outdoor athletes, with icy roads and snow causing traffic disruptions across the country.

New snow will continue until the end of the week, the DWD reported.

Click here for The Local’s weather forecast.

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What temperatures can we expect in Germany this week?

Parts of Germany will see another heatwave this week as temperatures soar.

What temperatures can we expect in Germany this week?

The German Weather Service (DWD) has predicted that the mercury will climb in some regions of to around 34C this week. 

“After low pressure ‘Karin’ gave parts of Germany rain, sometimes in large quantities, high pressure ‘Piet’ is now back in pole position,” said meteorologist Lars Kirchhübel of the DWD.

This high pressure zone will dominate the weather in large parts of western and central Europe over the coming days, the weather expert said, adding that it will reach Germany too. 

On Monday temperatures remained fairly cool across the country after a weekend of showers, but they are set to climb over the course of the week, particularly on Wednesday and Thursday. Forecasters predict it could reach 32C in Stuttgart and 33C in Cologne on Thursday. Locally, temperatures could reach 34C. 

However, from the Oder and Neisse rivers to the Erzgebirge mountains and southeast Bavaria, denser clouds and some showers are to be expected. This is due to a high-level low pressure system over the Balkan region, according to forecasters. Short showers are also possible in the Black Forest.

“In most of the rest of the country, high ‘Piet’ will be able to hold its ground,” said Kirchhübel.

READ ALSO: Heavy rain in Bavaria swells rivers, but flooding avoided

At the end of the week, thunderstorms are forecast but temperatures are expected to remain high. 

August in Germany ‘too dry’

According to the European Centre for Medium-Range Weather Forecasts, August as a whole – apart from a few areas in eastern Germany – will be too dry compared to the multi-year average.

The Black Forest, the High Rhine and the Allgäu to the Bavarian Forest, however, are not expected to have any major problems due to the high rainfall of the past few days.

“Looking at Rhineland-Palatinate, the southern half of Hesse, the western half of North Rhine-Westphalia and Lower Franconia shows a different picture,” said Kirchhübel. In the last 30 days, only about 10 percent of the usual level of precipitation fell in some places.

“At some stations, no precipitation at all has been measured in August,” added Kirchhübel, referencing Würzburg as an example.

Rainfall at the weekend caused the water in the Rhine river to rise slightly. In Emmerich, the water level reached a positive value again after the historic low of the past few days: in the morning, it showed three centimetres – an increase of six centimetres compared to the previous day.

The water level also rose by several centimetres at the other measuring points in North Rhine-Westphalia: in Cologne, the level rose to 80cm and in Düsseldorf to 38cm.

READ ALSO: Damaged freighter blocks traffic at drought-hit Rhine

Despite this encouraging trend, the Waterways and Shipping Authority said it did not expect a huge improvement in water levels in the foreseeable future due to more hot weather coming.