2014 was warmest year on record: official

It may not feel like it as you huddle into your winter wear, but Germany's warmest year in recorded history ends tomorrow – amid extreme snowfall warnings for New Year's Eve in some areas.

2014 was warmest year on record: official
Warm memories of 2014? Photo: DPA
The average temperature reading in 2014 was 10.3 degrees Celsius, the highest since meteorological records began in 1881, the German Weather Service (DWD) in Offenbach reported on Tuesday.
The closest contenders were 2000 and 2007 with 9.9 degrees.
This year winter effectively by-passed some northern and eastern parts of the country in January and February, followed by a dry spring, a scorching summer and an autumn that was conspicuously lacking in storms.
The hottest day of the year was the June 9 Whit Monday public holiday, when the mercury hit 37.7 Celsius near the southwestern town of Baden-Baden.
Also in Baden-Württemberg, the coldest night of the year fell on December 29 in Altheim, where the temperature plummeted to minus 24.9.
By states, North Rhine-Westphalia was the warmest with an average of 10.9 degrees, and Bavaria the coolest with 9.6.
But it's not over til its over: Authorities in some parts of the country issued heavy snowfall warnings on Tuesday. 
Parts of Bavaria are expected to get from 20 to 50 centimetres of snow from Tuesday to Wednesday.
The cold front has caused chaos at Munich Airport, where dozens of flights were cancelled and planes rerouted on Tuesday.

While the Alps and other parts of the south are forecast to shiver out the year with minus 3-8 degrees, many areas up to the north coast should post temperatures above zero, rising to 5 degrees in Berlin with possible rain showers.

Meanwhile, winter's cold extremes have produced some newsworthy hot heads. 
Alarmed motorists on an Autobahn near Munich on Sunday had to alert the driver of a public bus with hand signals to the fact that he was towing a man on a sledge.
Unbeknownst to the driver, the 21-year-old hooked up his sledge to the vehicle with a five-metre rope before it left the city's central bus depot, the Merkur newspaper reported.
After a few kilometres the driver pulled over on the hard shoulder of the A96 where the miraculously unhurt joyrider was detached for questioning by police.

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Weather: Germany sees extreme heat and storms

An extreme heat warning was in place for eastern Germany on Monday, while storms were also set to hit the country.

Weather: Germany sees extreme heat and storms

The German Weather Service (DWD) said temperatures could reach 36C on Monday. 

In the morning, the DWD issued an extreme heat warning for eastern regions, as shown below in the map. 

Map of Germany shows the heat warning in the east on Monday June 27th.

Photo: German Weather Service (DWD)

Forecasters said later on Monday, the south and east of the country would be hit by thunderstorms as well as large hailstones, strong winds and heavy rain.

READ ALSO: Germany sees record temperatures

In the north, west and centre of Germany, forecasters predicted clouds and some showers. Over the course of Monday, heavy thunderstorms with heavy rain, hailstones and strong winds are also possible in the north.

“Thunderstorms have occurred in the past few days and will continue in the coming days, as the established weather situation will remain virtually unchanged,” said a spokesperson from the DWD. 

However, the large temperature differences are striking: in the west of Germany, the mercury will only reach just above 20C in places.

Overnight to Tuesday, the DWD predicts thunderstorms – some of them heavy – from the Baltic Sea to the Alps, and later there is set to be more showers. It could still reach 28C in some places, especially in the east.

The DWD said: “The risk of thunderstorms will remain in the southern half of the country, while the northern half will calm down after the last thunderstorms have moved to Poland.

“This will change again on Wednesday night, when showers and thunderstorms, some of them thundery, as well as heavy rain will make their way north. On Wednesday, it will be quite unsettled with muggy temperatures almost all over the country.”

Forecasters said the weather will remain changeable for the rest of the week, but it should become more settled from next weekend.