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GERMAN FLOOD DISASTER

WEATHER

Experts warn mosquito plague to follow floods

After the flood, the swarm. Experts are warning that the worst flooding seen in Germany for over 500 years could be followed by a plague of mosquitoes.

Experts warn mosquito plague to follow floods
Photo: DPA

With so much stagnant water lying around and the possibility of warmer weather on the way, experts say many areas could be about to be invaded by swarms of the blood-sucking insects.

Only a cold snap can stop the insects now, said biologist Norbert Becker from the German Mosquito Control Association (Kabs).

“If it stays very cold, then [the mosiquitoes] don’t want to bite or fly,“ said Becker, but if it gets warmer, “then you can safely say that they will make themselves very apparent.“ In many places numbers could reach plague levels within the next few weeks, he added.

Those living along the Elbe, Oder, Donau, Rhine and other rivers should prepare for an inundation of mosquitoes, after flooding could trigger numerous eggs laid in damp flood planes to hatch.

“We can assume that everywhere where there has been severe flooding and there are flood planes there, or also flooded fields, that a plague of mosquitoes is on its way,“ said Becker.

Before females can lay eggs they must mate with a male and consume some blood. Then it is only a matter of time before the insects arrive, depending on the weather.

“The development of the larvae in water depends on the temperatures,“ said Becker. If it gets warmer, this can take one week, but up to two or more weeks in cold weather.

Becker’s Kabs organisation has recently been fighting mosquitoes along the upper Rhine by spraying breeding grounds with a protein mixture which destroys the insects’ gut and kills them.

But no such precautions have yet been taken along the Elbe, said Becker, due to a lack of staff with experience of the rare extreme flooding conditions.

“They have to know the breeding grounds, they have to map them, they have to have the infrastructue – people who know what to do,“ said Becker.

DPA/The Local/jlb

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WEATHER

Germany set for scorching temperatures up to 30C

After days of summery weather, temperatures in Germany are set to peak at around 30C this week before a cooler spell over the weekend.

Germany set for scorching temperatures up to 30C

After a long spell of sunny weather, most parts of Germany could see summer arrive early this week with clear blue skies and sweltering temperatures – but the hot weather may not last long, according to meteorologists.

Heat and sunshine should last through the middle of the week but suddenly give way to cooler temperatures over the weekend, the German Weather Service (DWD) predicts.

On Tuesday, most regions see temperatures in the mid to high 20s and a continuation of the dry weather of the past week. In the northeast, including Berlin, the mercury could reach 28C, and temperatures are likely to be between 22C and 28C across western and central areas.

Those in higher altitude regions of the south and those along the north coast should be the only people needing their rain jackets as this part of the country could see scattered showers and clouds, according to DWD.

Wednesday is the day to plan a lake trip as this is likely to be the hottest day of the week. 

Most parts of the country will stay sunny and dry throughout the day and people can expect summery temperatures of between 24C and 30C.

For those on the north coast, it’s likely to be a little chillier, with temperatures of around 15C and partly overcast skies.

Thursday and Friday are likely to bring with them cooler temperatures, with the hot spell giving way to scattered showers and clouds in many regions over the weekend.

On Saturday, southern regions will see highs up of up to 23C while the northern regions will slip down to 18C during the day.

But anyone planning to be out and about on Saturday evening in the south should bring a warm jacket as the mercury could drop as low as 4C. 

Sunny weather Standbad Lübars

A woman enjoys the warm weather at Standbad Lübars in Berlin. Photo: picture alliance/dpa | Britta Pedersen

Northern regions ‘too dry’ 

Though most people have been thrilled to see a warm burst of sunshine in the middle of spring, climate experts have been voicing concern about the uneven rainfall across the country.

In an analysis published on the DWD website, the meteorologists claimed that the northern and eastern parts of Germany have been “clearly too dry” in the past weeks.

“A first glance at the current map already reveals that the regional differences of April have continued in May,” they wrote. “In almost all regions of the northern half and in some parts of the centre, hardly more than 10 and in many places not even 5 litres of rain per square-metre fell in the first days of May.”

READ ALSO: EXPLAINED: How the climate crisis is hitting Europe hard

Though experts had predicted low rainfall, the first 10 days of May have been even drier than predicted.

The lack of rainfall has caused groundwater to dry up significantly, sparking fears of forest fires and drought over summer.

Though more rainfall could come at the end of May, the Weather Channel’s Jan Schenk believes the probability of an overly dry summer is now “very high”.

Schenk believes that predictions for rainfall could have overestimated the amount of precipitation by up to 50 litres per square metre in some areas. This is a reason for households to start saving water now, he told HNA

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