Gloomy summer provides extra sunshine for tanning salons

Germany's rainy summer has provided unexpected boon to the nation's tanning salons, as people shun soggy parks and beaches in favour of businesses offering artificial sunshine.

Gloomy summer provides extra sunshine for tanning salons
Photo: DPA

“We’ve had a full house again today,” said Claudia Agolli, manager of a tanning salon in the gritty Ruhr Valley city of Essen. The 44-year-old has worked in the tanning industry for 18 years but has seldom experienced a summer like this one.

“By early afternoon, we’d already had 67 customers. For the summer, that’s more than super. That’s really a lot, unusually a lot, in fact. We are quite astonished.”

Normally this time of year is marked by a brief seasonal lull for tanning salons in Germany. From June until the end of August, a daily average of only 30 to 40 customers per salon come looking for artificial sunshine, according to industry’s Federal Tanning Association.

However, salons need to average 60 to 100 daily customers in order to survive, meaning they have to earn enough during the colder months of the year to survive through the summer dry spell.

This year, however, the tanning salon operators are smiling as much of rest of Germany complains about a grey and rainy summer.

“The mood is notably positive,” said Norbert Schmid-Keiner, managing director of the association. “This summer is a dream for us. The dreary weather is positively driving people into the tanning salons.”

Janine, a 26-year-old treating herself to some artificial rays on a grey day in Essen, was also sick of the weather.

“I just got back from vacation on Majorca. There it was 35 degrees (Celsius). And then this weather here,” she groaned.

Shortly after she left, another customer was already waiting at the salon’s counter.

“At times this morning the customers were even lined up in front of the booths,” Agiolli said.

But even though the cool summer is good for business, the weather is also “getting on her nerves.”

“There’s barely been any sun, and this in summer,” she sighed.

Click here for The Local’s weather forecast.

DPA/The Local/emh

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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.