Weekend of storms kills four, injures 100

Four people were killed and over a hundred injured as heavy electrical storms lashed Germany over the weekend. Many areas sustained severe structural damage causing power cuts and disruption to train services.

Weekend of storms kills four, injures 100
Photo: DPA

A 24 year-old woman was killed in Bavaria when a tree fell on her car on Saturday evening, bringing the death count from recent storms to four. Three women golfers were killed by a lightning strike on Friday in Hessen. A fourth woman remains in a critical condition in hospital said a police spokesman on Sunday.

Over a hundred people were injured nationwide in the storms – many of them while attending outdoor events. Fifty-one festival goers were hurt and nine sustained serious injuries when a single lightning bolt struck a mast at the “With Full Force” open air heavy metal festival in northern Saxony.

A bolt of lightning struck the middle of the festival site early on Sunday morning, where the 30,000 heavy metal fans had been forced to find what shelter they could. Emergency services spent several hours at the scene treating those who had been sheltering in a cocktail bar near where the lightning struck.

Another festival in Baden-Württemberg had to be halted on Sunday after wind ripped tents from their moorings and at least ten festival goers were injured by flying debris. A further 18 were injured at a Volksfest in Bavaria when branches were ripped off trees by the high winds and thrown into the crowd.

High winds and heavy rain caused millions of Euros worth of damage and injured at least 38 in Baden-Württemberg, according to the state Interior Ministry in Stuttgart. Trees and electricity pylons were toppled in the storm resulting in power cuts, transport disruption and train lines being closed.

Northern Germany was also hit hard by the storm, yet luckily nobody was hurt. Between 10pm and 4am on Saturday evening the German weather service DWD recorded 8135 lightning strikes in the Berlin area alone.

And the weather service says more is on the way. Weather warnings have been issued for south east Bavaria, which is expected to be hit by heavy showers and storms on Sunday evening.

DAPD/The Local/jlb

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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.