Winter is here! Polar air brings storms, sleet and snow

The first snows of the season have begun to fall in Germany, as a cold front from the north moves across the country, bringing heavy rain, storms and snowfall at regions over 1,000 metres.

Winter is here! Polar air brings storms, sleet and snow
Photo: DPA

The cold polar air has reached the north of Germany and is moving south, bringing heavy showers and the possibility of sleet and one or two storms, DWD predicts. 

Temperatures will reach highs of 5 to 11 C and most of the country will have cloudy skies throughout the day on Friday.

There will be a fresh west wind with strong gusts in the north and particularly on the coast and temperatures will drop to between -1C and 6C later on Friday. 

In the night heading into Saturday, the cold air will reach the south and cloudy skies, showers and strong winds are predicted to continue across the south, while in the north the clouds are predicted to clear a little allowing for some sun between showers.

On Saturday over the south of Germany, warm air from the west will meet with the incoming cold air resulting in heavy rain. Temperatures will reach a maximum of 5C to 9C and frost is not likely.

In the Black Forest, stormy and unrelenting rain is predicted. It could rain up to 50 litres per square metre. Flooding is therefore not out of the question, Focus reports.

Aside from that, it will be windy in the south with stormy gusts moving in. Meanwhile in the north the chilly, rainy weather will continue. Sadly this does not come with the silver lining of snow.

On Sunday, the clouds will clear slightly for a few hours in the day across the north and east of Germany. At the same time snow is predicted to fall in areas as low as 700m above sea level meaning even some of Germany's lower mountains can expect a dusting of snow.

In the night leading into Monday, it will begin to snow in the valleys in the Alps. In the early hours of the morning, it will spread south towards Donau, in Swabia and also in Franken and the Operpalz. 

The snow isn't likely to stick around for long on lower ground, but traffic and rail disruptions are likely and air travel may have some delays due to de-icing measures.


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.