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WEATHER

Germany under ice Queen’s spell

Germany’s roads and footpaths will remain treacherously slippery for some days to come, with freezing temperatures and some snow set to preserve a sheet of ice on the ground, the German Weather Service (DWD) reported Sunday.

Germany under ice Queen's spell
Photo: DPA

Low pressure system “Queen” is set to bring some snow early in the week, the DWD said. Maximum temperatures on Monday will likely range between -5 degrees and zero degrees, but fall as low as -7 degrees in eastern parts of the country.

Only along the Rhine and its tributaries will the temperature crawl just above freezing.

Click here for photos of winter’s icy grip on Germany.

Overnight fog and clouds will give way to clearer skies and largely dry conditions with temperatures falling as low as -15 degrees in the east.

On Tuesday the southwest will see more snow, along with central and western regions of Germany too. Otherwise conditions will remain changeable, particularly in the east and north of the country.

Wednesday will see the heaviest cloud cover, with top temperatures between -6 degrees and -1 degrees.

Click here for The Local’s weather forecast.

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WILDFIRES

2022 sees record wildfire destruction in Europe: EU

Europe's blistering summer may not be over yet, but 2022 is already breaking records, with nearly 660,000 hectares ravaged since January, according to the EU's satellite monitoring service.

2022 sees record wildfire destruction in Europe: EU

And while countries on the Mediterranean have normally been the main seats of fires in Europe, this year, other countries are also suffering heavily.

Fires this year have forced people to flee their homes, destroyed buildings and burned forests in EU countries, including Austria, Croatia, France, Greece, Italy, Portugal and Spain.

Some 659,541 hectares (1.6 million acres) have been destroyed so far, data from the European Forest Fire Information System (EFFIS) showed, setting a record at this point in the year since data collection began in 2006.

Europe has suffered a series of heatwaves, forest fires and historic drought that experts say are being driven by human-induced climate change.

They warn more frequent and longer heatwaves are on the way.

The worst-affected country has been Spain, where fire has destroyed 244,924 hectares, according to EFFIS data.

The EFFIS uses satellite data from the EU’s Copernicus Atmosphere Monitoring Service (CAMS).

READ ALSO: EXPLAINED: How the climate crisis is hitting Europe hard

The data comes after CAMS said Friday that 2022 was a record year for wildfire activity in southwestern Europe and warned that a large proportion of western Europe was now in “extreme fire danger”.

“2022 is already a record year, just below 2017,” EFFIS coordinator Jesus San-Miguel said. In 2017, 420,913 hectares had burned by August 13, rising to 988,087 hectares by the end of the year.

“The situation in terms of drought and extremely high temperatures has affected all of Europe this year and the overall situation in the region is worrying, while we are still in the middle of the fire season,” he said.

Since 2010, there had been a trend towards more fires in central and northern Europe, with fires in countries that “normally do not experience fires in their territory”, he added.

“The overall fire season in the EU is really driven mainly by countries in the Mediterranean region, except in years like this one, in which fires also happen in central and northern regions,” he added.

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