• Germany's news in English

Warm weather wipes out white Christmas wishes

The Local · 24 Dec 2012, 11:43

Published: 24 Dec 2012 11:43 GMT+01:00

Facebook Twitter Google+ reddit

The German Weather Service (DWD) said on Monday that some people in the southern regions of the country could be celebrating Christmas in shorts and T-shirts, as temperatures would well into the double digits.

But the north-east was expected to remain cool, with just six degrees in areas like the Uckermark, but even this was too much for winter sports in the central Harz mountains where the tourist board said only a few ski runs remained open.

The 60 centimetres of snow that was seen on Sonnenberg for example in the middle of the month, has shrunk to around 25 centimetres, while the area was expected to be as warm as eight Celsius with rain on Monday and the coming few days.

Rain and snowmelt had the River Rhine threatening to flood in some areas, with the Cologne High Water Protection Centre registering a level of more than eight metres on Monday. It was rising by around three centimetres an hour. Ships are banned from travelling there as soon as it reaches 8.30 metres.

Click here for The Local's weather forecast

Cologne's old town centre was not yet affected in the middle of the morning, and does not generally flood until the Rhine reaches at least nine metres. But flood protection measures, such as mobile walls were being set up on Monday in case the river were to continue rising.

The last flooding of Cologne was in 2003, when the river level reached 9.71 metres, while during the 1995 'Flood of the Century', it reached as high as 10.69 metres.

Although the warm weather this week feels unseasonable, the DWD said it was not so unusual at this time of year.

Thomas Ruppert from the DWD said even the top expected temperatures of around 18 degrees this week were, "not something to knock you off your stool."

"A Christmas thaw is a common phenomenon," he said, pointing to the end of the 1970s and early 1980s when such conditions repeatedly stymied hopes of a white Christmas.

Story continues below…

Tuesday is expected to be rainy for many areas, with temperatures between eight and 13 Celsius, and snow only in upper Alpine areas.

Wednesday will be cloudy with showers and although temperatures are expected to fall a little, they will still remain between five and ten degrees.

DPA/DAPD/The Local/hc

The Local (news@thelocal.de)

Facebook Twitter Google+ reddit

Your comments about this article

Today's headlines
Long-vanished German car brand joins electric race
Photo: DPA

Cars bearing the stamp of once-defunct manufacturer Borgward will once again roll off an assembly line in north Germany from 2018, the firm said Wednesday.

Eurowings cabin crew union to strike all day Thursday
Photo: DPA.

UPDATE: A union representing cabin crews on Lufthansa's budget airline Eurowings has announced that strikes will last all day Thursday as ongoing contract negotiations continue to falter.

Hesse hopes to set example by building Iraqi orphanages
Refugee children in northern Iraq. Photo: DPA

The wealthy central German state of Hesse has set aside €1 million to build a school, family homes and an orphanage in northern Iraq, in an effort to help refugees there.

The Local List
10 German clichés that foreigners get very wrong
David Hasselhoff. Photo: DPA

Whether it be efficiency, humourlessness or a love of a certain Baywatch star, there are many cliches stuck in the heads of foreigners about Germany. But how true are they?

Fake Germanwings victim relative convicted in Cologne
A torn piece of metal at the crash site in 2015. Photo: DPA

A German court on Wednesday gave a woman a year's suspended jail sentence for posing as the cousin of a victim in last year's Germanwings plane crash and obtaining compensation offered by the airline.

Couple accused of torturing, murdering women go on trial
The so-called 'house of horrors' in Höxter where the couple allegedly tortured and killed women. Photo: DPA.

A couple accused of luring women to their village home with personal ads started trial on Wednesday over charges that they tortured and killed at least two of their victims.

After July attacks, govt drafts new video surveillance law
Photo: DPA

The Interior Ministry is drafting a law which will enable public spaces to be filmed for surveillance purposes as a reaction to deadly attacks in July, according to a newspaper report.

Merkel: murky internet giants distort perception of reality
Angela Merkel. Photo: DPA.

Chancellor Angela Merkel called on Tuesday for internet giants to make public their closely-guarded algorithms, claiming that they are not giving people diverse enough information.

Pegida leader 'paid court costs with group's money'
Pegida leader Lutz Bachmann. Photo: DPA.

The leader of the anti-Islam movement reportedly used money from Pegida's coffers to pay for two personal court cases, German media reported this week.

Anger as Berlin scraps Turkey concert on Armenia genocide
The Dresden Symphony Orchestra. Photo: DPA

Germany's foreign ministry Tuesday scrapped a planned symphony performance on the Armenian "genocide" in its Istanbul consulate, sparking accusations that it was caving in to Turkish pressure.

10 ways German completely messes up your English
Sponsored Article
Last chance to vote absentee in the US elections
Germany's 10 most weird and wonderful landmarks
10 things you never knew about socialist East Germany
How Germans fell in love with America's favourite squash
How I ditched London for Berlin and became a published author
12 clever German idioms that'll make you sound like a pro
23 fascinating facts you never knew about Berlin
9 unmissable events to check out in Germany this October
10 things you never knew about German reunification
10 things you're sure to notice after an Oktoberfest visit
Germany's 10 most Instagram-able places
15 pics that prove Germany is absolutely enchanting in autumn
10 German films you have to watch before you die
6 things about Munich that’ll stay with you forever
10 pieces of German slang you'll never learn in class
Ouch! Naked swimmer hospitalized after angler hooks his penis
Six reasons why Berlin is now known as 'the failed city'
15 tell-tale signs you’ll never quite master German
7 American habits that make Germans very, very uncomfortable
Story of a fugitive cow who outwitted police for weeks before capture
Eleven famous Germans with surnames that'll make your sides split
jobs available
Toytown Germany
Germany's English-speaking crowd