Winter storm ‘Joachim’ snarls transport
The fierce winter storm dubbed ‘Joachim’ has caused the suspension of rail services and snarled road traffic in the western part of Germany. A severe weather alert has been issued for the southern parts of the country.
Wind speeds of over 150 kilometres per hour have already been recorded in the Black Forest region.
“The intense low-pressure system Joachim is keeping central and southern Germany on edge with gale-force winds, snow and continual rainfall,” the German weather service (DWD) said in a statement. “But as fast as it has come, it will move out over the Baltic Sea with same speed by Saturday.”
The storm raged across France on overnight, with the centre of the low pressure system reaching Paris at 3 am. Railway systems broke down in the Loire region. The storm also caused an oil spill from a stranded freighter on the coast of Brittany.
Joachim is expected to cut a swathe through Germany from Düsseldorf to Hannover to Berlin, but the strongest winds are expected to strike regions south of the centre of the storm.
The Meteomedia weather service has already put out its highest alert for large areas of the states of Baden-Württemberg and Bavaria.
Meanwhile the Karlsruhe institute for meteorology said “Joachim” would bring heavy rainfall. The institute added that there would be winds of up to 200 kilometres an hour in the Alpine summits and snowfall could be expected in mountainous regions.
According to the weathermen, the storm also heralds the end of the relatively mild temperatures that have been reigning in Germany this winter. Snow is expected in the lower regions of Germany during the weekend.