Flooding feared from thaw and rain

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5 Jan, 2011 Updated Wed 5 Jan 2011 15:35 CEST
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After weeks of freezing temperatures and snow across much of Germany, meteorologists are warning a brief thaw and steady rain could cause sporadic flooding in the coming days.

The low-pressure system “Benjamin” will bring warmer temperatures, but also lots of precipitation, the German Weather Service (DWD) said on Wednesday.

“The weekend will be considerably milder. In the west, one might even think of springtime – were it not for all the rain,” said the DWD’s Dorothea Paetzold.

The DWD warned the ensuing snowmelt could combine with the rain to swell waterways and cause flooding in regions such as the low-lying Harz mountains in the middle of the country.

Click here for The Local's weather forecast.

Wednesday night could bring freezing rain and sleet to the west, making for treacherous driving conditions. Temperatures will range between -7 degrees Celsius in Bavaria to +2 along the Lower Rhine. The coasts and mountains could experience gusty winds.

Thursday will see steady rain across the entire country outside of the southern Alpine region. Eastern Bavaria will remain near the freezing mark, but western Germany will begin to thaw as temperatures climb up to 8 degrees in the west. Drivers particularly in the east should be aware of icy roads as rain hits the still frosty ground early in the day.

More rain is forecast for Friday, though the east and south of the Danube could have dry spells. Temperatures will range between 5 and 10 degrees. It will stay above freezing overnight, with light frost likely only at the extreme ends of the country in the far north and towards the Alps.

The weekend will remain rainy and mild with temperatures reaching a balmy 11 degrees in some regions along the Rhine.

The Local/DPA/mry



2011/01/05 15:35

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