Wintry weather causes road chaos

This winter's first snap of snowy and icy weather led to dozens of car accidents throughout Germany Monday night and into Tuesday morning, leaving one woman seriously injured.

Wintry weather causes road chaos
Photo: DPA

The 35-year-old woman was badly hurt when her car slid off a road and into a tree near Calden, northern Hesse, police said. They dealt with more than a dozen accidents across the region through Monday night.

Lower Saxony’s Emsland district was hit by a serious hailstorm leading to 14 accidents within a 24-hour period on the A31 motorway between Twist und Dörpen. Two slight injuries were reported.

Four people were slightly injured after three cars they were travelling in skidded in snow and slammed into guardrails on the A27 motorway near Bremerhaven, an enclave that belongs to Bremen but is surrounded by Lower Saxony state.

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Snowy weather also caused difficult driving conditions and accidents in Bavaria and Saxony. Five people were seriously injured in car crashes in Saxony, while in Bavaria a 34-year-old man driving a tractor towing a trailer lost control on one portion of A9 motorway near Marktschorgast, and crashed down an embankment, causing more than €200,000 in damage.

North Rhine-Westphalia also had its share of traffic troubles. A vehicle skidded and plunged down an embankment near Winterberg, leaving the driver and four children aged between 9 and 14, the Rheinische Post reported.

The German Weather Service (DWD) reported that cold and occasionally icy weather should continue through much of Germany over the next few days.

The Local/DAPD/mdm

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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.