Incoming storm: Hurricane-force winds on the way to Germany

Extreme weather is predicted across Germany in the coming week, with hurricane-force winds expected, and flood warnings put out across many states.

Incoming storm: Hurricane-force winds on the way to Germany
Photo: DWD

Monday's weather forecasts made for some grim reading for many across Germany as locals discovered that severe weather warnings had been issued for their areas.

Large proportions of the country had some level of weather warning issued as of Monday afternoon until Wednesday, with some districts facing potential flooding or heavy storms

A level 3 warning, the second most serious, was issued in the Harz Mountains area, with the German Weather Service (DWD) expecting hurricane-force winds of up to 110 km/h. The DWD also forecast potential flooding due to melting ice.

The DWD has warned people in the area to avoid going outside, and to stay away from buildings, trees, and power lines.

Yellow areas mean level 1 warnings, orange means level 2 or “striking” warnings, while green means no weather warning. Click on the image to see the latest warning status.

Strong winds were also forecast between Monday evening and Tuesday evening for all of the northern states, with wind speeds of up to 60 km/h expected. Stronger, gale-force winds were predicted in some districts of the state of Mecklenburg-West Pomerania.

Much of the state of Baden-Württemberg has a level 2 weather warning, with the DWD cautioning some districts in the east that they could see up to 50mm of rain over only a 48-hour period, higher than the average rainfall for the whole month.

Due to the high amount of rainfall, combined with the large amount of ice and snow expected to melt by Wednesday, the DWD warned of high water levels in streams and rivers, and the potential flooding of some streets. 

Similar warnings for thawing ice have been issued across Thuringia, almost half of Saxony, and many areas of Bavaria, with some districts expecting large quantities of water to be drained over the next 48 hours. 

The new weather warnings comes after Germany experienced two vicious storms, Axel and Egon, in the early half of January. 

In the wake of storm Axel, the worst flooding for a decade was seen along the Baltic coast. The rising tides flooded streets and basements, and left cars underwater in many coastal areas. 

While nobody was hurt in storm Axel, storm Egon left two dead, and thousands more without power.


What temperatures can we expect in Germany this week?

Parts of Germany will see another heatwave this week as temperatures soar.

What temperatures can we expect in Germany this week?

The German Weather Service (DWD) has predicted that the mercury will climb in some regions of to around 34C this week. 

“After low pressure ‘Karin’ gave parts of Germany rain, sometimes in large quantities, high pressure ‘Piet’ is now back in pole position,” said meteorologist Lars Kirchhübel of the DWD.

This high pressure zone will dominate the weather in large parts of western and central Europe over the coming days, the weather expert said, adding that it will reach Germany too. 

On Monday temperatures remained fairly cool across the country after a weekend of showers, but they are set to climb over the course of the week, particularly on Wednesday and Thursday. Forecasters predict it could reach 32C in Stuttgart and 33C in Cologne on Thursday. Locally, temperatures could reach 34C. 

However, from the Oder and Neisse rivers to the Erzgebirge mountains and southeast Bavaria, denser clouds and some showers are to be expected. This is due to a high-level low pressure system over the Balkan region, according to forecasters. Short showers are also possible in the Black Forest.

“In most of the rest of the country, high ‘Piet’ will be able to hold its ground,” said Kirchhübel.

READ ALSO: Heavy rain in Bavaria swells rivers, but flooding avoided

At the end of the week, thunderstorms are forecast but temperatures are expected to remain high. 

August in Germany ‘too dry’

According to the European Centre for Medium-Range Weather Forecasts, August as a whole – apart from a few areas in eastern Germany – will be too dry compared to the multi-year average.

The Black Forest, the High Rhine and the Allgäu to the Bavarian Forest, however, are not expected to have any major problems due to the high rainfall of the past few days.

“Looking at Rhineland-Palatinate, the southern half of Hesse, the western half of North Rhine-Westphalia and Lower Franconia shows a different picture,” said Kirchhübel. In the last 30 days, only about 10 percent of the usual level of precipitation fell in some places.

“At some stations, no precipitation at all has been measured in August,” added Kirchhübel, referencing Würzburg as an example.

Rainfall at the weekend caused the water in the Rhine river to rise slightly. In Emmerich, the water level reached a positive value again after the historic low of the past few days: in the morning, it showed three centimetres – an increase of six centimetres compared to the previous day.

The water level also rose by several centimetres at the other measuring points in North Rhine-Westphalia: in Cologne, the level rose to 80cm and in Düsseldorf to 38cm.

READ ALSO: Damaged freighter blocks traffic at drought-hit Rhine

Despite this encouraging trend, the Waterways and Shipping Authority said it did not expect a huge improvement in water levels in the foreseeable future due to more hot weather coming.