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WEATHER

Thunderstorms to chase away weekend warmth

A brief respite of sunshine and warmer temperatures in Germany is set to be chased away by thunderstorms this weekend.

Thunderstorms to chase away weekend warmth
Photo: DPA

Though not all of the country will agree, temperatures officially have been too warm for September – even five degrees Celsius above normal in the south of Germany – according Tanja Dressel, a meteorologist for the German Weather Service (DWD).

However, the rain quota has already reached 100 percent in the east, while western regions have been much drier. And there’s a wide-spread lack of Vitamin D: in many parts of Germany, the sunshine meter is only half full, Dressel said.

Nonetheless, fickle weather patterns will continue into the weekend, according to DWD forecasts, with high pressure system Paula being replaced by the low pressure front George, which will bring showers and thunderstorms from the west beginning Friday night. The stormy trail will continue across Germany on Saturday.

“All in all, the temperature level will remain relatively high,” said the DWD’s Ansgar Engel. “Only on Sunday will cooler air from the west prevail, so that we’ll have to say goodbye to temperatures over 20 degrees.”

Click here for The Local’s weather forecast

Through Friday afternoon, the heaviest cloud cover will be seen in northern Germany, with sunshine or scattered clouds in the rest of the country. However, by late afternoon, thicker clouds will build up in the south and west, leading to showers and possible thunderstorms. Temperatures will range from 15 to 20 degrees in the north, 19 to 24 degrees in the south and west and may reach 25 in the Upper Rhine region.

On Saturday, cloud cover will be prevalent from the southwest through central Germany, later expanding into the east. Heavy rain and local thunderstorms will also occur. Clouds and showers will also pass through northern Germany, while only scattered showers are expected in other regions. Southeastern Germany may even remain pleasant for much of the day before thunderstorms develop. Temperatures of 18 degrees are expected in the north, around 25 degrees in the south.

Sunday’s weather will be variable – cloudy in southern and eastern Germany with extended rain and thunder, otherwise with scattered rain. In the Alps, the snow line will sink to 1,500 metres, and a cool, at times strong, westerly wind will come out of the southwest. Highs will be between 13 and 19 degrees.

Leading into Monday, the forecast will clear up slightly, though temperatures will remain lower, mostly hovering around 10 degrees. Cloudy skies will still be prevalent over greater Germany with showers concentrated mostly in the west.

“You shouldn’t entirely write off comfortable late summer weather, though,” Engel said. “By mid-week, at least for southern and mid-Germany, there are hints of more sunshine and rising temperatures.”

The Local/emh

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WILDFIRES

2022 sees record wildfire destruction in Europe: EU

Europe's blistering summer may not be over yet, but 2022 is already breaking records, with nearly 660,000 hectares ravaged since January, according to the EU's satellite monitoring service.

2022 sees record wildfire destruction in Europe: EU

And while countries on the Mediterranean have normally been the main seats of fires in Europe, this year, other countries are also suffering heavily.

Fires this year have forced people to flee their homes, destroyed buildings and burned forests in EU countries, including Austria, Croatia, France, Greece, Italy, Portugal and Spain.

Some 659,541 hectares (1.6 million acres) have been destroyed so far, data from the European Forest Fire Information System (EFFIS) showed, setting a record at this point in the year since data collection began in 2006.

Europe has suffered a series of heatwaves, forest fires and historic drought that experts say are being driven by human-induced climate change.

They warn more frequent and longer heatwaves are on the way.

The worst-affected country has been Spain, where fire has destroyed 244,924 hectares, according to EFFIS data.

The EFFIS uses satellite data from the EU’s Copernicus Atmosphere Monitoring Service (CAMS).

READ ALSO: EXPLAINED: How the climate crisis is hitting Europe hard

The data comes after CAMS said Friday that 2022 was a record year for wildfire activity in southwestern Europe and warned that a large proportion of western Europe was now in “extreme fire danger”.

“2022 is already a record year, just below 2017,” EFFIS coordinator Jesus San-Miguel said. In 2017, 420,913 hectares had burned by August 13, rising to 988,087 hectares by the end of the year.

“The situation in terms of drought and extremely high temperatures has affected all of Europe this year and the overall situation in the region is worrying, while we are still in the middle of the fire season,” he said.

Since 2010, there had been a trend towards more fires in central and northern Europe, with fires in countries that “normally do not experience fires in their territory”, he added.

“The overall fire season in the EU is really driven mainly by countries in the Mediterranean region, except in years like this one, in which fires also happen in central and northern regions,” he added.

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