Cooler days mark end to wet and grey summer

Cold air will stream in from the North Sea this week, keeping northern Germany damp, while high pressure will clear out the clouds over the central and southern parts of the country.

Cooler days mark end to wet and grey summer
Photo: DPA

“Summer is cooking with a small flame for the next few days,” said German Weather Service (DWD) meteorologist Stefan Külzer, pointing to the Scandinavian low pressure system “Bert” as the culprit for the cooler temps.

Even where the sun shines, though, temperatures will be below normal summer levels. Northern German states can expect highs of only between 16 and 19 degrees Celsius, while southern states will warm up to 23 degrees, the DWD forecast.

Monday evening will likely bring rainfall to the north, with the weather becoming drier further southward.

On Tuesday, northern Germany will see widespread clouds with possible scattered showers. Central parts of the country will be partly cloudy, while the south will remain mostly sunny as precipitation and thunderstorms stays confined to the Alps.

Click here for The Local’s weather forecast

Wednesday will remain cloudy in the north with rain or occasional showers. Elsewhere, it will be sunny with scattered cloud cover.

Near evening, the clouds will condense, with the first precipitation expected in south western regions. Mid-week highs will hover around 17 degrees in the north, 23 degrees in the south.

Summer 2011: wet with little sunshine

Overall, this summer was unusually damp and grey — coming on the hills of an extremely dry and sunny spring.

The DWD analysed results from around 2,000 weather stations across Germany and found that, despite a too-wet, cloudy summer, the average temperature of 16.8 degrees was slightly above the climatic mean. Only the southwestern state Saarland remained cooler than average.

The highest summer temperatures were recorded on June 28 in the North-Rhine Westphalian village of Duisburg-Baerl (36.6 degrees), August 22 in Rheinfelden on the upper Rhine River (36.7) and on August 23 in the Stuttgart-Neckar River Valley (36.6).

The summer low was registered at night on June 2: A frosty 1 degree Celsius in near the Teufelsmoor bog north of Bremen and -3 degrees in the town of Rotenburg on the Wümme River in Lower Saxony.

Germany also received 127 percent of normal summer precipitation during the past three months. The Baltic Sea resort towns of Rostock and Warnemünde received 111.4 litres of rain per square metre on July 22, the highest amount of precipitation in a day. In June, July and August combined, the area was drenched by a total 632 litres per square metre.

Many regions in Brandenburg and almost all of Mecklenburg-Western Pomerania also surpassed their prior precipitation records. The most rain (713 litres per square metre) was recorded in the southern Bavarian village of Oy-Mittelberg-Petersthal.

All in all, Germany averaged 548 hours of summer sunshine, approximately nine percent lower than the climatic mean of 604 hours. The town of Kahle Asten in North-Rhine Westphalia received only 414 hours of sun, the lowest nationwide. In Baden-Württemberg, the upper Rhine River town of Rheinfelden received the most Vitamin D with 688 hours of sunshine.

The Local/emh

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What we know so far about Berlin’s follow-up to the €9 ticket

After weeks of debate, Berlin has settled on a new budget ticket to replace the €9 ticket for a limited time. Here's what know about the travel deal so far.

What we know so far about Berlin's follow-up to the €9 ticket

So Berlin’s getting a new €9 ticket? Cool!

Kind of. Last Thursday, the Berlin Senate agreed to implement a €29 monthly ticket from October 1st until December 31st this year. 

It’s designed to bridge the gap between the end of the €9 ticket deal and the introduction of a new national transport deal that’s due to come into force by January 2023.

The Senate still hasn’t fleshed out the details in a written decision yet, so some aspects of the ticket aren’t clear, but we do know a few things about how it’ll work. For €29 a month, people can get unlimited travel on all modes of public transport in Berlin transport zones A and B. That means buses, trains and trams are all covered – but things like taxis aren’t. 

Wait – just zones A and B. Why’s that?

One of the sticking points in planning the new ticket was the fact that neighbouring state Brandenburg was reluctant to support the idea. Franziska Giffey (SPD), the governing mayor of Berlin, had annoyed her neighbours and surprised her own coalition partners by suddenly pitching the idea at the end of August – shortly before the €9 ticket was due to expire.

At the time, the disgruntled Brandenburg state premier Dietmar Woidke (SPD) complained about the lack of advance notice for a proper debate. He had previously ruled out a successor to the €9 ticket in the state. Meanwhile, the CDU – who are part of the governing coalition in Brandenburg – slammed the idea for a new cheap ticket as a “waste of money” and an attempt to “buy votes” for the SPD.

The blockade meant that plans for a Berlin-Brandenburg ticket run by transport operator VBB had to be scrapped, and the monthly ticket has instead been restricted to the two transport zones solely operated by Berlin’s BVG. Since zone C stretches into Brandenburg, Berlin couldn’t include this zone in the ticket unilaterally. 

Berlin transport zones explained

Source: S-Bahn Berlin

The good news is that zones A and B cover everything within the city’s borders, taking you as far as Spandau in the west and Grunau in the southeast. So unless you plan regular trips out to the Brandenburg, you should be fine.

However, keep in mind that the Berlin-Brandenburg BER airport is in zone C, so you’ll need an ‘add-on’ ticket to travel to and from there. It’s also not great for the many people who live in Potsdam in Brandenburg and commute into Berlin regularly. 

READ ALSO: Berlin gets green light to launch €29 transport ticket

How can people get hold of it? 

Unlike the €9 ticket, you won’t be able to buy it at stations on a monthly basis. Instead, the €29 ticket is only for people who take out a monthly ‘Abo’ (subscription) for zones A and B. If you’ve already got a monthly subscription, the lower price will be deducted automatically, while yearly Abo-holders will likely get a refund. 

You can take out a monthly subscription on the BVG website here – though, at the time of writing, the price of the ticket hadn’t been updated yet. According to Giffey, people will be able to terminate their subscription at the end of December without facing a penalty. 

What types of ‘Abos’ are eligible for the deal? 

According to Berlin transport operator BVG, people with the following subscriptions are set to benefit from the reduced price from October to December: 

  • VBB-Umweltkarten with monthly and annual direct debit
  • 10 o’clock tickets with monthly and yearly direct debit
  • VBB-Firmentickets with monthly and yearly direct debit 
  • Trainee subscriptions with monthly direct debit

People who already have reduced-price subscriptions, such as over-65s and benefits claimants, aren’t set to see any further reductions. That’s because many of these subscriptions already work out at under €29 per month for zones A and B. 

Passengers exit an U-Bahn train in Berlin

Passengers exit an U-Bahn train at Zoologischer Garten. Photo: picture alliance/dpa | Jörg Carstensen

Can students with a Semesterticket get it as well?

That’s one of the things that still needs to be clarified. It’s possible that universities will choose to refund part of the Semesterticket price like they did with the €9 ticket. The Local has contacted BVG for more information. 

Can I take my bike/dog/significant other along for the ride? 

Once again, this doesn’t appear to have been ironed out yet – but we can assume that the usual rules of your monthly or yearly subscription will apply. So, as with the €9 ticket, if your bike is included in your subscription, you can continue to take it with you. If not, you’ll probably have to pay for a bike ticket.

In most cases, monthly BVG subscriptions allow you to take one dog with you for free, and also bring one adult and up to three children (under 14) with you on the train on evenings and weekends. These rules are likely to stay the same, but we’ll update you as soon as we know more. 

How much is this all going to cost?

According to regional radio station RBB24, around €105 million is set to be put aside in order to subsidise the temporary ticket. However, this still needs to be formalised in a supplementary budget and given the green light in the Senate. 

An S-Bahn train leaves Grünewald station

An S-Bahn train leaves Grünewald station. Photo: picture alliance/dpa | Christophe Gateau

OK. And what happens after the €29 ticket?

That’s the million – or, rather, billion – euro question right now. In its latest package of inflation relief measures, the federal government said it would be making €1.5 billion available for a follow-up to the €9 ticket.

The ticket is set to be introduced by January 2023 and will rely on Germany’s 16 states matching or exceeding the federal government’s €1.5 billion cash injection. So far, it looks set to be a monthly ticket that can be used on public transport nationally, with the price set somewhere between €49 and €69.

However, the Greens continue to push for a two-tier model that would give passengers the option of buying either a regional or national ticket. Under their proposals, the regional tickets would cost €29 and the national tickets would cost €69.