Snow, sleet and frost are on the way for much of Germany

The start of the festive season brings with it fittingly wintry conditions for much of the country, with snowfall in the south and even a few snow showers in the north at the weekend.

Snow, sleet and frost are on the way for much of Germany
Snowplough clears a road in the Harz mountains. Photo: DPA

On Thursday, wide-spread rain, sleet and snow showers are predicted across much of Germany, the German Weather Service (DWD) reports.

The snow is likely to settle on the ground above 500m and will be especially thick in the Alps and in the Black Forest, where up to 15cm of new snow is expected.

Eastern Germany can expect moments of sunshine but there will be thick cloud and the possibility of thunderstorms in the west throughout the day and showers will continue into the evening in the south and west.

With temperatures reaching highs of just 5C across the country and dropping to as low as -6C in mountain regions, conditions may get a little icy overnight.

On Friday, it's good news for many German ski resorts as thick clouds will bring sleet and snow across central and southern Germany, with even more snowfall in the Alps. The weather in the west and northwest will be changeable with occasional cloud cover and intermittent showers. 

The clouds are predicted to thicken on Friday night and temperatures will drop to around freezing. Rainfall is likely to ease in most areas of the country but there is still a possibility of snowfall in mountain regions.

On Saturday, the north and northwest may finally get their share of the snow with light snowfall predicted in the morning. Unfortunately, the snow is likely to turn to rain as the day goes on before moving southwards.

Snowfall in the Alps will begin to subside in the second half of the day and the weather will stay relatively dry across the south in the evening.

In the day, temperatures across the north will rise to between 1C and 4C, but will remain around freezing in the south and southwest. Temperatures will then drop to between 1C and -5C in the north and between -3C and -8C in the south at night.

On Sunday, more snowfall is predicted in the south and southwest during the day, with thick cloud and rain in the west. Temperatures will rise to between 2C and 5C in the north but will remain around freezing in the south.

As the day goes on there's a chance of snow and sleet in the southeast which is predicted to continue on to Monday and once again snow will continue to fall on high ground.




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.