Two people, one aged 61 and the other 35, were killed in Lower Saxony on Tuesday in accidents caused by black ice.
The state of North Rhine-Westphalia was also hard hit – with hundreds of accidents and lengthy motorway delays caused by stranded trucks overnight and well into Tuesday morning.
Some 703 accidents were reported there between Monday evening and Tuesday morning, police said. Two people were left seriously hurt, while 26 suffered milder injuries. The accidents cost about €1.54 million damage.
Many trucks got bogged in slush or snow, causing delays. Motorway A42 and the intersection at Oberhausen – particularly on the A2 motorway in the direction of Hannover, were badly affected. Trucks were pulled free only to have others get bogged shortly after, police reported.
The result was numerous trucks strewn down the motorways, causing lengthy traffic jams.
The A1 motorway was disrupted for about seven hours due to a lorry accident between the Lotte-Osnabrück exit and Lengerich, causing a jam that stretched three kilometres. Around Cologne, the A3 and A4 motorways were also partly blocked, as were the A45 and A61.
Düsseldorf airport was closed on Monday evening so that the runways could be cleared after a sudden snowfall. A number of flights were cancelled. Other flights were diverted, mostly to Frankfurt and Münster-Osnabrück. Delays continued after the airport was re-opened at 9:30 pm.
Ice meanwhile caused traffic delays in the state of Rhineland-Palatinate, with the A61 completely closed Tuesday morning in the direction of Koblenz from the Ludwigshafen exit. A semi-trailer skidded on ice and broke through the barriers on the road between Ludwigshafen and Frankenthal and was still hanging there on Tuesday morning, police said.
On Tuesday night and through to Wednesday, the east and south of the country can expect more heavy snowfalls, the German Weather Service (DWD) reported.
The northern edge of the Alps and the eastern central highlands will also be blanketed. The sky should stay relatively clear in the west and northwest of the country, though. Low temperatures will drop to between -3 and -8 degrees across most of the country and as far as -12 degrees in parts of the south.
On Wednesday, the east and south can expect mostly heavy clouds with snowfall. The west and northwest will see a little more sun. Highs will creep up to freezing point in the far west and on the North Sea coast, while the rest of the country will have to battle through chilly temperatures of between -2 and -7 degrees.
On the edge of the Alps, the temperature won’t get higher than -10 degrees.
Thursday will see unsettled clouds but only a little snow in the morning. Over the course of the day, however, fresh snowfall is expected in the northwest, spreading south and east. In the northwest, snow and rain will bring the danger of black ice. High temperatures will reach 2 degrees in the northwest to -7 degrees in southeast Bavaria.