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.
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.