Germany gets a slushy Christmas Eve

Fresh snow, wind and rain are likely to make Christmas Eve quite slushy for many Germans as relatively mild weather takes hold. But temperatures will drop over the holiday weekend.

Germany gets a slushy Christmas Eve
Photo: DPA

Martin Jonas of the German weather service (DWD) predicted up to 20 centimetres of fresh snow in some parts of the country on Friday, with strong winds and heavy snowfall particularly in northern Germany.

Click here for The Local’s weather forecast.

But rain is expected Friday morning in the south and south-west, shifting over to the south-east in the afternoon. There is likely to be fresh snowfall in the mountainous regions of the Alps and Lower Saxony.

The snow will then stop on Christmas Day, at least in the south and east, with temperatures holding steady between –8 and –3 degrees Celsius. But the wind will make it feel a little colder, the weather service warned.

The real cold will set in on Saturday night, with temperatures dipping to between –11 and –15 degrees C. The skies will remain overcast throughout the weekend, with the north-east likely to get some light snowfall. The north may well stay a little warmer than the south.

Dangerously icy conditions are likely to return on Monday, with bands of rain and snow sweeping in from the west and temperatures just below freezing, ideal conditions for surface ice on roads. Temperatures are likely to get milder at the start of the post-holiday week, hovering between –5 and +1 degrees Celsius in the north-west.

The snow, augmented by freezing rain in southern areas, is likely to prevail throughout next week.


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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.