Summer in November? Temperatures predicted to reach 20C in southern Germany

Given the recent chilly conditions in Germany and the first snows of the season in parts of the country, it may come as a surprise that unusually mild temperatures could be seen across the country later this week.

Summer in November? Temperatures predicted to reach 20C in southern Germany
Photo: DPA.

The German Weather Service (DWD) predicts that polar winds will keep temperatures low on Monday evening with thick cloud and the possibility of sleet in the north-west, and showers across the south-west. 

Snow is likely to fall on high ground across the country with temperatures around freezing but there is also a possibility of a little snowfall on lower ground in the north-east.

Tuesday is likely to be fairly wet and windy, particularly in the west of Germany and on high ground, but with these winds comes warmer weather as they will, effectively, blow the cold air away.

Conditions are predicted to be dry in the east and temperatures will range from 4C along the Neisse river to 12C on the Rhine.

As milder air from the Azores and the Iberian Penninsula moves in, temperatures are expected to jump up to 12C in southern Bavaria on Wednesday, reaching highs of 10C to 15C in the foothills of the Alps, 9C in the north-west and 10C on the north coast.

Further spikes in temperature are predicted on Thursday in areas across the south, reaching 17C and even 19C on the windward side of mountains, reports the Augsburger Allgemeine.

The weather situation is changing and the unusually mild weather is a big topic of discussion for meteorologists, Dominik Jung from told Mitteldeutsche Zeitung (MZ). 

“On Thursday, Friday and Saturday we will reach peak values near the 20-degree mark in the west and southwest and thus record values for the current season.” 

The so-called “November Summer” isn't expected to hang around, however, as by the end of the weekend temperatures should have returned to normal, ranging from 2C to 6C during the day, with lows of -3C during the night.

For members


Reader question: Is it ever too hot to work from home in Germany?

Germany has regulations on working during a heatwave - but does that also apply to people who work remotely? We take a look.

Reader question: Is it ever too hot to work from home in Germany?

The number of people working from home shot up during the Covid pandemic, and though employees no longer have the right to work remotely by law, many have chosen to stick with more flexible arrangements and set up a home office at least part of the week.

This is great news for people who enjoy a lie-in more than a long commute, but there are some downsides. One major issue is that it’s not always clear how Germany’s strict employee protection rules actually apply in a home setting. The rules for working during a heatwave are a good example of this.

How does Germany regulate working in extreme heat? 

By law in Germany, employers are responsible for creating a safe environment for their workers. This means that they should try and keep the temperature below 26C at all times and are legally obliged to take action if the temperature goes above 30C. 

That could include putting blinds on the windows to prevent the glare of the sun, installing air conditioning systems or purchasing fans. In some cases – such as outdoor manual labour – it could also involve starting and finishing earlier in the day. 

And in really high temperatures, employers may simply decide to call the whole thing off and give their employees a ‘hitzefrei’ day – basically a heat-induced day off – to go and cool down in a lake. However, business owners are generally given free rein to decide how hot is too hot in this instance (except in the case of vulnerable workers). 

READ ALSO: Hitzefrei: Is it ever legally too hot to go to work or school in Germany?

Do the heat rules apply to ‘home office?’

Unfortunately not. In most cases in Germany, the company isn’t directly involved in setting up the workspace for an employee that works from home, aside from possibly providing a laptop or phone for remote use. 

“The occupational health and safety regulations regarding room temperature do not apply in this case,” labour law expert Meike Brecklinghaus told German business publication T3N. “This is because the employer does not have direct access to the employee’s workplace and in this respect cannot take remedial action.”

That means that on hot days, it’s the employee’s own responsibility to make sure the environment is suitable for working in. 

woman works from home in Germany

A woman works in her living room at home. Photo: picture alliance/dpa | Daniel Naupold

One duty employers do have, however, is to instruct their workers about the best way to set up a healthy work environment at home, for example by giving guidance on how to regulate the temperature. 

“In the end, it is the employee’s responsibility to maintain his or her workplace in a condition in which he or she can perform his or her work without the threat of health impairments,” Brecklinghaus explained.

What can home office workers do in hot weather?

There are plenty of ways to keep flats cooler in the summer months, including purchasing your own fan, keeping curtains or blinds drawn and ventilating the rooms in the evening or early morning when the weather is cooler.

However, if heat is really becoming a problem, it’s a good idea to communicate this to your employer. This is especially important if you have a health condition that makes it more dangerous to work in hot weather. 

In some cases, you might be able to negotiate for the employer to pay for the purchase of a fan or mobile air conditioner as goodwill gesture. If possible, you could also arrange to travel to the office where the temperature should be better regulated.

Another option for early birds or night owls is to arrange more flexible working hours so you can avoid sweltering at your desk in the midday sun, although this of course depends on operational factors. 

READ ASO: Jobs in Germany: Should foreign workers join a union?