Mild weather melts last hope of white Christmas

The chances of Germany seeing a few flakes of snow on Christmas Day dwindled to almost zero on Saturday, when the German weather service (DWD) forecast mild weather fronts across the country.

Mild weather melts last hope of white Christmas
Photo: DPA

A Scrooge-like low pressure system called Patrick is set to sweep Germany with mild air throughout the Christmas weekend, melting snow even on the lower mountains.

Meteorologists predict that Germans determined to have a white Christmas would have to camp out in the Alps at an altitude of at least 1,500 metres, though they stressed that this was not advisable.

The north-western region of Germany will see temperatures of up to 10 degrees Celsius on Christmas day; and this is expected to rise even further on Monday. The southern areas of Germany will also be mild, though slightly colder than the north.

A small mercy is that it won’t rain that much, thanks to another low pressure system – called Cora – moving in from the west and dispersing the thicker rain clouds.

But the skies will remain overcast, especially in eastern Germany, where light drizzle can be expected on Monday.

Only the south west of the country can expect to see any sunshine. Temperatures will drop slightly throughout the week.

The Local/bk

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Germany should ditch Christmas lights this year, says environmental group

Germany should go without Christmas light displays this year due to the Ukraine war and subsequent energy crisis, as well as the climate emergency, according to a high profile environmental group.

Germany should ditch Christmas lights this year, says environmental group

German cities and towns are already discussing how to cut back on energy usage during the festive season as the country grapples with fears over a gas shortage and rocketing energy costs. 

Now Environmental Action Germany (Deutsche Umwelthilfe or DUH) – has said that businesses and households should massively cut down on lighting further in view of the energy crisis – and to protect the environment. 

“This winter, it should be a matter of course to do without Christmas lights in cities as well as those in houses and apartments,” DUH managing director Jürgen Resch told the Redaktionsnetzwerk Deutschland.

“In view of the war in Ukraine, the energy shortage, but also for reasons of climate protection, we should pause for a moment,” said Resch.

Environmentalists see the crisis as an opportunity for looking at sustainability and species conservation.

He pointed to the scale of electricity used for light displays during the Christmas season. “Private lighting alone causes electricity consumption of over 600 million kilowatt hours per year – as much as a medium-sized city with 400,000 inhabitants consumes in a year,” Resch said.

“Add to that the potential savings from not having Christmas lights in our cities and towns.”

Resch suggested a different approach this year. “Perhaps this can be reduced to one illuminated tree per community,” he said.

“Consciously doing without (lights) here – saving and showing solidarity – that could make this Christmas season a very special one.”

READ ALSO: What to know about Germany’s energy saving rules

The German government has called on people to cut down on energy consumption as Russia continues to squeeze the supply. 

As The Local has been reporting, districts across the country are considering how to save energy during the darker months. 

Many regions are cutting down on lighting displays or getting rid of ice rinks. 

READ ALSO: German cities look to cut back on Christmas lights amid energy crisis

According to a survey by the trade association, lots of retailers are planning to ditch lights this year because of the sharp rise in electricity costs.


Christmas lights – (die) Weihnachtsbeleuchtung 

Climate protection – (der) Klimaschutz

Electricity consumption – (der) Stromverbrauch

Illuminated/lit up – beleuchtet

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