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Ice causes traffic chaos, but warmer weather lies ahead

The Local · 2 Feb 2011, 14:50

Published: 02 Feb 2011 14:50 GMT+01:00

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One person was killed in Saxony and dozens were injured across the country. The western state of North Rhine-Westphalia was especially hard hit by the storm fronts moving across the country, as were northern and eastern regions.

Glassy ice on the roads had caused 487 collisions in North Rhine-Westphalia by Wednesday morning. A police spokesman said 70 people were injured, 12 of them seriously. In total, accidents caused about €2.2 million in damage.

But the better news is that low pressure system “Klaus” will bring warmer air from the Atlantic to Germany, pushing temperatures back up into the positives, the German Weather Service (DWD) announced.

“The wintry picture which on Wednesday morning many Germans endured will clear up more and more in the coming days,” meteorologist Simon Trippler said in a statement Wednesday. “A return of winter in Germany is not in store for the weather for now. As a result, only a visit to a high mountain will help to be able to experience winter.”

However rain overnight Wednesday could refreeze, creating black ice for Thursday morning traffic, though this is not expected to be as severe as was Wednesday morning’s ice.

Frozen ground, fog and misty rain meanwhile caused hundreds of accidents in the north Wednesday, with 160 in Hamburg alone. Fortunately, only four involved injuries, all of them mild, a police spokesman said.

“It went alright,” the spokesman said.

A bizarre accident happened in Lower Saxony after a 27-year-old skidded off the B3 road near Nörten-Hardenberg and into a tree. The force of the impact tore the entire engine block out and flung it back onto the road. The man, who had been drinking, suffered mild injuries.

A few minutes later, a second car smashed into the engine block, according to a police spokesman. The 21-year-old was unharmed, but the car was totalled.

One person died in Saxony in a rear-end collision on the A4 motorway. The road was still partially closed late on Wednesday morning.

Looking ahead, cloud cover in the north should keep lows between 0 and 4 degrees Wednesday night, while in the centre and south, lighter cloud cover could force lows to drop between 0 and -5 degrees, with a chilly -10 degrees expected around the foothills of the Alps.

Heavy cloud cover will greet much of Germany on Thursday morning with rain and snow expected in the centre and east of the country, which will extend to the south over the course of the day. Snow is expected particularly in the south and at high altitudes.

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High temperatures should range from 1 degree at the foot of the Alps to 8 degrees in the Rhineland. Overnight minimums will range from 3 degrees to -6 degrees.

Friday will bring highs of between 4 degrees and 10 degrees. But the mercury will steadily climb into the weekend with highs of 6 degrees to 13 degrees expected on Saturday.

Click here for The Local's weather forecast.

The Local/DAPD/djw

The Local (news@thelocal.de)

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