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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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ENERGY

Germany should ditch Christmas lights this year, says environmental group

Germany should go without Christmas light displays this year due to the Ukraine war and subsequent energy crisis, as well as the climate emergency, according to a high profile environmental group.

Germany should ditch Christmas lights this year, says environmental group

German cities and towns are already discussing how to cut back on energy usage during the festive season as the country grapples with fears over a gas shortage and rocketing energy costs. 

Now Environmental Action Germany (Deutsche Umwelthilfe or DUH) – has said that businesses and households should massively cut down on lighting further in view of the energy crisis – and to protect the environment. 

“This winter, it should be a matter of course to do without Christmas lights in cities as well as those in houses and apartments,” DUH managing director Jürgen Resch told the Redaktionsnetzwerk Deutschland.

“In view of the war in Ukraine, the energy shortage, but also for reasons of climate protection, we should pause for a moment,” said Resch.

Environmentalists see the crisis as an opportunity for looking at sustainability and species conservation.

He pointed to the scale of electricity used for light displays during the Christmas season. “Private lighting alone causes electricity consumption of over 600 million kilowatt hours per year – as much as a medium-sized city with 400,000 inhabitants consumes in a year,” Resch said.

“Add to that the potential savings from not having Christmas lights in our cities and towns.”

Resch suggested a different approach this year. “Perhaps this can be reduced to one illuminated tree per community,” he said.

“Consciously doing without (lights) here – saving and showing solidarity – that could make this Christmas season a very special one.”

READ ALSO: What to know about Germany’s energy saving rules

The German government has called on people to cut down on energy consumption as Russia continues to squeeze the supply. 

As The Local has been reporting, districts across the country are considering how to save energy during the darker months. 

Many regions are cutting down on lighting displays or getting rid of ice rinks. 

READ ALSO: German cities look to cut back on Christmas lights amid energy crisis

According to a survey by the trade association, lots of retailers are planning to ditch lights this year because of the sharp rise in electricity costs.

Vocabulary 

Christmas lights – (die) Weihnachtsbeleuchtung 

Climate protection – (der) Klimaschutz

Electricity consumption – (der) Stromverbrauch

Illuminated/lit up – beleuchtet

We’re aiming to help our readers improve their German by translating vocabulary from some of our news stories. Did you find this article useful? Let us know.

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