December has brought snow and fog to Germany – and warnings were issued that storms and floods would hit the north of the country by the end of the week.
Although Tuesday was clear-skied and sunny, the low pressure system Xaver which was building up near Greenland would hit northern German coasts on Thursday, state weather service the DWD said.
Severe storms should be expected on Thursday and Friday in Hamburg and the surrounding area, the DWD warned, adding that Xaver would be at least as strong as the storm system Christian which hit northern Germany at the end of October.
Flooding should be expected on the coast of Lower Saxony and the North Sea islands, while the whole of the north would be battered by strong winds for most of Friday, with snow in some areas too.
Before the storms strike, this first week of December will gradually introduce the northern section of the country to winter.
Fog will be the theme of the day on Tuesday for large stretches of the north, lifting by the afternoon. The south will be sunny and dry all day. Everywhere will be chilly, with the foggiest places barely breaking 0C. Everywhere else will be between 3C and 8C.
Thicker clouds will develop at night over the north, bringing rain and sleet in the early hours. Elsewhere will see scattered cloud and fog. Lows will remain a comfortable 5C along the North Sea coast, but plummet to -10C in the less cloudy Alps. General lows will be in the early minuses.
Clouds will catch up with the south on Wednesday dumping rain initially over only the north and northwest. This will spread later in the day to the central mountainous area, but fall as snow. Highs will be between 0C and 8C in the north and even reach 10C in the south.
Snow and sleet will bear down on the south throughout Wednesday night with lows of only 3C. Starry skies will mean a colder night for the north, with lows of -3C.
Thursday will be very stormy in the north, while the south and central areas will be rainy and snowy in the morning. Highs will hover between 1C in southeastern Bavaria and 9C along the North Sea coast.
Night time will be rainy, sleety and snowy across the country. The snowline will sink considerably, meaning large areas other than the Alps will be graced with snow. It could be as cold as -7C in hilly areas.
Snow will really arrive in earnest by Friday – mountainous parts could see this with blasts measuring up to force 12. There will be a chance of snow across the whole country, with highs of between 0C and 5C. Anywhere over 400 metres above sea level will be frosty all day.
Friday night will be cold and icy as snow eases and skies clear, giving way to lows of -7C, meaning Saturday could be treacherous on the roads.