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WEATHER

Soggy weather replaces Indian summer

Germany's flirtation with sunny weather is fizzling out as a large low pressure system travels down from Scandinavia. With it will come rain showers, gusty winds and cloudy skies.

Soggy weather replaces Indian summer
Photo:DPA

“It is hard to believe that by the end of the week, temperatures will have changed so quickly,” said Ansgar Engel of the German Weather Service (DWD).

By Thursday afternoon, only Bavaria will still be enjoying the last of the Indian summer during the daytime, during which highs reached the mid 20s into the October 3 German Unity Day celebrations. The rest of Germany will be digging out umbrellas and waterproofs, as rain showers arrive across the country. Temperatures will reach the early 20s at best, with lows of 10 degrees Celsius in southwest Germany.

Click here for The Local’s weather forecast

However, come Friday Bavaria will be bidding farewell to summer too, whilst Brandenburg and Berlin will escape the rain. Temperatures will be firmly autumnal, with highs of 8 degrees. This will continue over the weekend and into next week.

Engel also said “we should see it as compensation that the beginning of the month was so warm.” In 1998, he said, Berliners celebrated the October 3 German Unity Day amid snowflakes – something to think about before lamenting the wet weather.

The Local/jw

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WEATHER

Damaged freighter blocks traffic at drought-hit Rhine

A stranded cargo ship caused traffic to be halted Wednesday at the Rhine river in western Germany after suffering a technical fault, authorities said, at a time when water transport was already ailing from a drought.

Damaged freighter blocks traffic at drought-hit Rhine

The vessel is stuck at St. Goar and Oberwesel, in between the cities of Mainz and Koblenz, water police said, adding that they were expecting to clear the stricken ship within the day.

The machine damage came as water levels in the Rhine had dropped to critical points at several locations, including at nearby Kaub — a known bottleneck for shipping where the river runs narrow and shallow.

The gauge at Kaub stood at 34 cm (13 inches) on Wednesday, well below the 40-cm reference point.

While vessels are still able to navigate at low water levels, they are forced to reduce their loads to avoid the risk of running aground.

About four percent of freight is transported on waterways in Germany, including on the Rhine, which originates in Switzerland and runs through several countries including France and Germany before flowing into the sea in the Netherlands.

READ ALSO: How the Rhine’s low water levels are impacting Germany

Transport on the Rhine has gained significance in recent months because among cargo moved on the river is coal, now all the more necessary as Germany seeks to wean itself off Russian gas.

Germany’s biggest companies have already warned that major disruptions to river traffic could deal another blow to an economy already beset by logistical difficulties.

The 2018 drought, which saw the benchmark depth of the Rhine in Kaub drop to 25 cm in October, shrank German GDP by 0.2 percent that year, according to Deutsche Bank Research.

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