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WEATHER

Storm leaves two dead and several injured

A storm front hitting western Germany on Monday afternoon left two people dead and several injured as winds and thunderstorms followed a brutal heat wave.

Storm leaves two dead and several injured
The tornado over Helgoand. Photo: DPA

The dramatic drop in temperatures unleashed violent weather across much of the state of North Rhine-Westphalia.

A 54-year-old woman on a scooter died in Cologne after she sought shelter from the wind and rain under an underpass and was hit by a truck. A 47-year-old woman in Nordhorn in Lower Saxony also died after gusty winds uprooted a tree that fell on her as she tried to return home with her dog.

A 15-year-old girl suffered life-threatening injures after she was struck by falling branch while riding a bike in Wesel county. Winds in Bonn tore down a 2.5-metre-high wooden fence in the city centre, injuring six people. A 62-year-old woman suffered serious injuries.

The strong winds also caused a tornado on the North Sea island of Helgoland, where eight people were injured, two seriously. The twister tore across a camping site, leaving more than 100 people without a place to sleep tonight. The island’s mayor called a state of emergency and asked for help from the mainland.

The storm front hitting western Germany on Monday afternoon is expected to bring heavy rain, hail, strong gusting winds and even the danger of isolated tornadoes as it sweeps across the country, the DWD said.

The deadly storm will also cause the high temperatures of recent days to drop markedly, with the west to see overnight lows to fall to 17 degrees Celsius compared to average lows of 22 degrees overnight in the east.

The DWD warned any respite would be short-lived however, with high temperatures set to drop only a little Tuesday, to between 25 and 30 degrees Celsius. The east of the country could expect thunderstorms on Tuesday, the office added.

The baking summer conditions could return Wednesday with temperatures of more than 30 degrees being felt across the country. Only the coastal areas and islands off the coast could expect cooler temps, with highs around 25 degrees and upwards. Southern Germany is set to swelter amid highs of about 36 degrees.

Click here for The Local’s weather forecast.

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WEATHER

Snowfall due at the weekend as winter arrives in Germany

After a cold blast at the end of November, winter in Germany is set to begin with yet more snow, making it the perfect time to dig out a puffer coat and get out to Christmas market.

Snowfall due at the weekend as winter arrives in Germany

German punctuality has struck once again as winter looks set to arrive right on cue this year, with a flurry of snowfall, ice and frosty conditions in several regions of the country.

According to the German Weather Service (DWD), Saxony-Anhalt could see the mercury drop as low as -6C on Friday as snow continues to fall until the afternoon. The Harz mountains will also get a festive dusting of snow, with temperatures ranging from -1 to -3C in the coming days.   

Saturday is set to be overcast in the region with up to 5cm of snowfall, but things could dry up on Sunday as temperatures rise to a nippy 1-3C. The eastern states of Saxony and Thuringia can also expect icy conditions and snow over the weekend.

In North Rhine-Westphalia, snow is also expected at higher altitudes. In eastern Westphalia and in the Sauerland region, there could be light snowfall or sleet, DWD reported on Friday. Drivers and cyclists should exercise caution as roads are likely to become slippery due to fresh snow or freezing rain.

DWD explains that two high-pressure areas are currently causing colder winds to sweep across Germany. The first, which caused snow to fall overnight across central Germany, is gradually heading south towards France – though the second is set to bring another icy spell to the country on Friday evening and into Saturday.

Bavaria will be the first to experience the chill as the high-pressure zone travels across the Alps overnight. 

The southern state is likely to have a soggy start to the weekend, with rain falling at lower altitudes – though more hilly and mountainous areas will see some snow. But as temperatures drop during the night, residents of Bavaria could see as much as 5cm as snow on Saturday morning.

READ ALSO: Surviving winter: 8 tips for enjoying the cold like a true German

The rest of the weekend will likely be marked by uniform grey skies, frost and drizzle, though those lucky enough to live in an Alpine region could see a few precious rays of sunshine too.

The weather will also take a distinctly wintry turn in Berlin and Brandenburg over the weekend, as the cold front sweeps across northeastern Germany on Saturday and towards the Baltic Sea. 

Friday is likely to be mostly chilly and overcast, with occasional rain or sleet and maximum temperatures of 2C. 

In the night, however, southern Brandenburg will start to see some fresh snowfall, which will move up across Berlin and to the north of Brandenburg over the course of Saturday.

Snow falls outside the Reichstag in Berlin

Snow falls outside the Reichstag in Berlin on Wednesday. Photo: picture alliance/dpa | Christoph Soeder

Berliners should be sure to wrap up if they’re heading out to enjoy the festive scenes, since the mercury is likely to hover between zero and -2C. 

Will the snow settle? 

Unfortunately the dusting of white is unlikely to stick around long in most places – so make your snow angels while you can. 

Misty or overcast skies will return on Advent Sunday, while occasional drizzle could well turn Saturday’s snow into slush. Hilly and mountainous regions will be the only ones treated to an extra helping of snow.

Meanwhile, Monday is set to get off to a soggy and wet start, with rainfall in most regions and temperatures between 1C and 5C. 

READ ALSO: Will Germany see more snow this winter?

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