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WEATHER

‘White Christmas’ likely across much of Germany

Despite erratic weather that will bring rain and temperatures as warm as 10 degrees Celsius in southern Germany this week, much of the nation can expect a “White Christmas,” the German Weather Service (DWD) predicts.

'White Christmas' likely across much of Germany
Photo: DPA

The DWD has forecast rising temperatures over the next few days, but chilly polar air would sweep back down over Germany around the end of the week.

“The way to church in most areas will be white or it will even be snowing,” DWD meteorologist Christina Speicher said in a statement.

Rain was expected early Wednesday in southwestern Germany, notably in southern Rhineland-Palatinate and Saarland.

“The white glory will probably not survive until Christmas Eve in southwestern Germany, at least in the lowlands,” Speicher said.

With high temperatures later in the week between five and 10 degrees Celsius in the south, snow would melt fast.

“The chances of a ‘White Christmas’ there are still not bad, however,” she said.

By Christmas Eve on Friday, new snow was expected across much of the country.

Snowfall would be especially long and plentiful on the northern sides of the Alps and the central mountain areas. Only the northwest of the country could expect snowless skies.

Across the country, high temperatures would reach between -2 degrees and 3 degrees. On Friday night, going into Christmas Day, it will snow particularly in the south and east of the country. Towards the north and the west, it will be clearer.

Low temperatures will lie between -1 degree in the southeast and -8 degrees in the west on Friday night.

The Local/dw

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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