Violent storm brings floods to north, snow to south Germany
The storm Axel brought fierce weather to Germany early on Wednesday morning... but the worst is yet to come. We'd followed the storm live.
- Axel hit land early on Wednesday morning and is set to keep pounding Germany throughout the day.
- There has already been flooding in Hamburg harbour.
- The federal maritime agency warns worst flooding in decade will hit the Baltic coast. The highest tides will be shortly before midnight.
- Hurricane-force winds have been recorded on the Brocken, the highest mountain in central Germany.
5.57pm That's it from us for the day. Wrap up warm and if you live near the Baltic coast, we only hope the worst doesn't happen.
Tomorrow morning we'll cover how badly the north of Germany has been hit by predicted flooding.
4.30pm Blid's top story on its website screeches that "It'll drop to minus 26 on Saturday!" And that isn't just in the Alps but in the Bavarian capital Munich, too - luckily only at night.
4.08pm It doesn't seem like the weather is going to let up any time soon. The weathermen at the DWD say that the south and east of the country can expect snow storms throughout Thursday.
And on Friday temperatures will be a freezing minus seven Celcius across much of the country.
2.44pm DPA has more details on potential flooding on the Baltic coast. On the island of Poel, near Wismar, they have 30,000 sandbags at the ready, to be filled if the situation demands it.
The highest waters are expected shortly before midnight.
2.16pm On the Baltic coast, they are preparing for severe flooding. This picture below of sandbanks being built up was taken in Wismar, Mecklenburg-Western Pomerania.
2.11pm This is the scene outside Humboldt University in central Berlin.
1.38pm By about 1.30pm in Berlin, a torrential flurry of rain, hail and snow came pouring down with gusts of whistling wind in central city neighbourhoods, The Local's Emma Anderson reports. Thunder and lightning also rumbled through the capital.
12.07pm A regional train has crashed into a tree, blown onto the track by the storm, in northern Bavaria.
The accident took place near Schwarzenbach an der Saale early on Wednesday morning. According to the Deutsche Bahn, no one was injured, but the line was shut down for hours.
11.49am Some people are tweeting pictures of sunny weather, asking "where is Axel?" Are the Lügenpresse [lying press] up to their dirty old tricks again?"
11.44am This is the latest weather warning from the German Weather Service (red means it's windy, cold and snowy... and there are thunder storms!).
11.30am One Twitter user has posted this picture of waves rolling into the beautiful North Sea island of Sylt.
11.26am Berlin seems to have been spared the worst of it so far. Emma Anderson writes: "though it rained earlier in the morning, the weather was gray and slightly above freezing by the late morning."
11.20am Way down in the south in Munich right now (where Jörg Luyken is tucked up inside) there are blasts of wind and intermittent swirls of snow. This is what it looks like out the window:
11.07am: Deutsche Welle have tweeted a graphic illustrating the wind directions and showing the position of the storm. It can't be much fun in Riga right now.
10.30am In the highlands of central Germany and in the Bavarian forest, the storm brought heavy snowfall. The snow was also drifting in winds of up to 75 km/h, according to the German Weather Service (DWD).
On the Brocken, the highest mountain in central Germany, hurricane force winds were recorded.
In Hamburg meanwhile, a high tide two metres above the usual level led to flooding in the harbour.
Hamburg's fish market lies under water on Wednesday morning. Photo: DPA
The port city's historic fish market, which lies directly on the harbour, was filled with knee-deep water, while cars and busses driving along the water front flooded through the high tides, according to the Hamburger Morgenpost.
The fish market from outside. Photo: DPA
Axel will continues to blow throughout Wednesday with the possibility of the most severe flooding in over a decade on the Baltic Sea coast.
By Wednesday morning though, public transport and road infrastructure remained largely unaffected by the bad weather.
Nonetheless a large truck from the Czech Republic crashed on a state road east of Dresden in heavy snow, bringing traffic to a standstill for three hours, Bild reports.