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WEATHER

Violent storm ‘Xynthia’ cuts deadly path

The vicious Atlantic storm “Xynthia” ravaged Germany overnight, killing at least six and injuring dozens. National rail provider Deutsche Bahn said on Monday morning that commuter traffic was “relatively stable” after wind downed countless trees.

Violent storm 'Xynthia' cuts deadly path
Photo: DPA

The German Weather Service (DWD) called off its storm warning for hurricane-force winds of up to 120 kilometres per hour in most places, but cities above 1,000 metres were still on alert after several casualties across the country.

In Lower Saxony a 46-year-old man died after colliding with a tree when his car was blown from the roadway, police said.

Click here for photos of the deadly storm.

A 74-year-old German motorist was killed and his wife injured when a tree came crashing down on their car in the Black Forest. Falling trees also killed a woman jogging in the western town of Bergheim and a 69-year-old man walking in a forest west of Frankfurt, police said.

Media reports on Monday also said that a two-year-old boy drowned near Frankfurt after a gust of wind blew him into a river.

Several motorists were hurt as the deadly tempest made its way through Germany, including at Uckerath, south of Cologne, where two motorists were injured by trees falling onto the road, police said.

In the western city of Karlsruhe, several policemen were slightly injured when a tree fell on their truck outside a stadium during a football match.

On Sunday, trains had been cancelled in the states of Rhineland-Palatinate, Saarland, North Rhine-Westphalia, and in Hesse, while there were also problems in Saxony-Anhalt, Thuringia and Saxony.

By Monday morning the main rail corridors were all reportedly free from storm disruptions, though delays on regional trains were expected in the state of North Rhine-Westphalia where the storm was at its strongest on Sunday.

Meanwhile officials reopened the Frankfurt Airport rail station, which was closed on Sunday as a safety precaution due to the weather. Airlines there were forced to cancel some 250 flights during the storm, while the nearby A3 motorway was also briefly closed.

Traffic in Frankfurt and Cologne was also reportedly on time, though commuter train lines between Essen and Düsseldorf, and Koblenz and Trier were still delayed.

The storm sparked some 1,700 emergency calls in the district of Arnsberg in North Rhine-Westphalia before 9 pm on Sunday, and a loss of power to about 70 communities in the Eifel region.

Thirty roads in the county of Trier-Saarburg were reportedly impassable due to falling trees during the violent storm.

Dubbed “Xynthia,” the Atlantic storm has already travelled across swathes of Western Europe, killing at least 54 people amid gusts of up to 150 kilometres per hour and eight-metre (26 foot) waves.

The violent weather has also left more than a million households without power across the continent.

Click here for The Local’s weather forecast.

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WEATHER

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.

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