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LIGHTNING

North and east Germany next to face fierce storms

The German Weather Service (DWD) has issued a weather warning for the north and east of the country, after the west and south took a battering over the weekend.

North and east Germany next to face fierce storms
A storm in Brandenburg in 2015. Photo: DPA

While the west of the country is set to suffer under more storms at first, the bad weather will build in the north and east as Monday goes on and in the late afternoon strong storms are to be expected.

The DWD warns that hail storms and heavy rain are likely and that hail is likely to pile up on the ground, posing a danger to drivers.

In the latest weather warning, published at just after midday on Monday, an area of Brandenburg north-east of Berlin was given a serious weather warning.

A weather report shows areas in orange as being at immediate risk of being hit by a storm. Green signals no weather warning. Source: DWD 

The mass of air carrying the storms is travelling ever further north, Martin Jonas from the DWD told the Süddeutsche Zeitung.

“But when and where the the next one hits is impossible for us to say exactly,” he said.

The south of the country was dealing with the consequences of flash flooding on Monday morning that left at least three people dead.

But the southern states of Baden-Württemberg and Bavaria are set to have more pleasant weather that will ease clear-up efforts. The DWD has lifted all weather warnings for the south except in the very southwestern corner of the country and the French-Swiss border.

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WILDFIRES

2022 sees record wildfire destruction in Europe: EU

Europe's blistering summer may not be over yet, but 2022 is already breaking records, with nearly 660,000 hectares ravaged since January, according to the EU's satellite monitoring service.

2022 sees record wildfire destruction in Europe: EU

And while countries on the Mediterranean have normally been the main seats of fires in Europe, this year, other countries are also suffering heavily.

Fires this year have forced people to flee their homes, destroyed buildings and burned forests in EU countries, including Austria, Croatia, France, Greece, Italy, Portugal and Spain.

Some 659,541 hectares (1.6 million acres) have been destroyed so far, data from the European Forest Fire Information System (EFFIS) showed, setting a record at this point in the year since data collection began in 2006.

Europe has suffered a series of heatwaves, forest fires and historic drought that experts say are being driven by human-induced climate change.

They warn more frequent and longer heatwaves are on the way.

The worst-affected country has been Spain, where fire has destroyed 244,924 hectares, according to EFFIS data.

The EFFIS uses satellite data from the EU’s Copernicus Atmosphere Monitoring Service (CAMS).

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

The data comes after CAMS said Friday that 2022 was a record year for wildfire activity in southwestern Europe and warned that a large proportion of western Europe was now in “extreme fire danger”.

“2022 is already a record year, just below 2017,” EFFIS coordinator Jesus San-Miguel said. In 2017, 420,913 hectares had burned by August 13, rising to 988,087 hectares by the end of the year.

“The situation in terms of drought and extremely high temperatures has affected all of Europe this year and the overall situation in the region is worrying, while we are still in the middle of the fire season,” he said.

Since 2010, there had been a trend towards more fires in central and northern Europe, with fires in countries that “normally do not experience fires in their territory”, he added.

“The overall fire season in the EU is really driven mainly by countries in the Mediterranean region, except in years like this one, in which fires also happen in central and northern regions,” he added.

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