Ice blast hits Berlin, -10C forecast

Ice blast hits Berlin, -10C forecast
A woman struggles to walk down the street on the banks of the Spree in Berlin. Photo: DPA
UPDATE: Icy weather appeared to take Berlin by surprise on Monday morning leading to more than 1,000 calls to the emergency services by lunchtime. Temperatures will plummet to -10 C by the end of the week, according to forecasters.

Roads and pavements became a skating rink and the icy temperatures are forecast to plummet further.

National weather service DWD said temperatures will reach lows of -10 C in north east Germany in the second half of this week. 

The BZ newspaper reported that 1,182 calls were made to the emergency services by 1pm. Emergency services were so stretched that some of those injured had to be taken to hospital in fire engines rather than ambulances.

Fire crews were called to 600 incidents between midnight and 10am.

Black ice caused chaos on the roads and between 8am and 9am on Monday police said they were called to 108 traffic accidents in the capital.

Temperatures also went to below freezing in Hamburg but in the west and south stayed warmer. The icy weather is set to spread across Germany this week.

The plummeting temperatures and widespread black ice throughout the capital and north-east Germany are due to a meeting of two weather fronts, and temperatures will continue to sink there throughout the week, according to the latest forecasts from the DWD.

The contact between cold air from the Scandinavian high-pressure system "Benjamin" coming from the North at low altitude and warmer air from low-pressure systems in the South coming in above it caused drizzling rain in the night, which then froze into a coat of ice.

Temperatures in northern Germany will go no higher than between -4C and 1C on Monday, while across the rest of the country highs stayed between 3C and 7C.

And snowfall is expected across much of north-eastern Germany overnight into Tuesday, DWD predicted. While the west and south will go no colder than 3C, the snowy north-east will drop to between -1C and -4C during the night.

A generally overcast Tuesday will see intermittent light snow showers in most regions except the west and south-west, with temperatures dropping to -6C in the north-eastern Oder area. In the northern Rhineland, temperatures will only go as low as 2C.

CLICK for a snowy weather gallery

On Wednesday the cloud cover should ease up at times in the south, west and north-east, where it should stay dry. Elsewhere it will stay overcast, with occasional light snow showers and temperatures reaching highs of 5C in the west, but no higher than -3C in the far north-east.

Temperatures in the Oder region will drop further to -9C overnight, whilst in the north-west they will stay above 1C.

Cold-battered northern and eastern regions will enjoy a dose of sunshine on Thursday, reaching a high of between -4C and 1C, before plunging back down to a new low of -12C overnight into Friday on Frankfurt-an-der-Oder. Meanwhile the northern Rhineland will have a warmer night with lows of 2C.

CLICK HERE for a weather forecast for Germany

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