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WEATHER

Cold snap: lows of -20C set to hit Germany starting at the weekend

It might be wise to dress warmly for the next few days; the temperature is predicted to drop dramatically in Deutschland.

Cold snap: lows of -20C set to hit Germany starting at the weekend
A person fishing at Müritz Lake in 2013. Photo: DPA

A cold snap is forecast for the weekend ahead and from Sunday onward, the country will experience a freeze-up period, the German Weather Service (DWD) reported on Wednesday.

Temperatures in the evening in the next few days could drop in some areas to as low as -20C, according to Die Welt newspaper.

But even during the day it will be frosty outside and “feel much colder than it is,” a DWD meteorologist said.

The reason for the cold snap is that a strong current from the north and northeast is on its way, bringing with it bitterly cold air from Finland, Sweden and Russia. On Wednesday morning temperatures in regions encompassed by the passing current were measured at between -10C and -20C.

This cold air is heading for central Europe and will arrive in Germany at the weekend, according to the DWD. Then it will be remain frosty at least until Thursday of next week, though in some areas the freeze-up may last even longer.

Highs in Germany predicted by DWD later in the day on Saturday. Image: DWD

A similar marked drop in temperatures occurred in late winter of 2013, when the country experienced a very cold February and March.

As to whether the current cold snap means Germany is likely to see very cold temperatures again in the following weeks, the DWD states that it's too early to tell.

There is some good news, though. Cloudy skies across the country seem to be over for the time being with sunny skies in many parts of Germany, meteorologists state.

Possible snowfall is moreover only predicted in two regions: on the Baltic Sea coast and in the Bavarian Alps.

WILDFIRES

Europe facing record year for wildfire destruction: EU

Europe's blistering summer may not be over yet, but 2022 is already breaking records, with nearly 660,000 hectares ravaged since January, according to the EU's satellite monitoring service.

Europe facing record year for wildfire destruction: EU

And while countries on the Mediterranean have normally been the main seats of fires in Europe, this year, other countries are also suffering heavily.

Fires this year have forced people to flee their homes, destroyed buildings and burned forests in EU countries, including Austria, Croatia, France, Greece, Italy, Portugal and Spain.

Some 659,541 hectares (1.6 million acres) have been destroyed so far, data from the European Forest Fire Information System (EFFIS) showed, setting a record at this point in the year since data collection began in 2006.

Europe has suffered a series of heatwaves, forest fires and historic drought that experts say are being driven by human-induced climate change.

They warn more frequent and longer heatwaves are on the way.

The worst-affected country has been Spain, where fire has destroyed 244,924 hectares, according to EFFIS data.

The EFFIS uses satellite data from the EU’s Copernicus Atmosphere Monitoring Service (CAMS).

READ ALSO: EXPLAINED: How the climate crisis is hitting Europe hard

The data comes after CAMS said Friday that 2022 was a record year for wildfire activity in southwestern Europe and warned that a large proportion of western Europe was now in “extreme fire danger”.

“2022 is already a record year, just below 2017,” EFFIS coordinator Jesus San-Miguel said. In 2017, 420,913 hectares had burned by August 13, rising to 988,087 hectares by the end of the year.

“The situation in terms of drought and extremely high temperatures has affected all of Europe this year and the overall situation in the region is worrying, while we are still in the middle of the fire season,” he said.

Since 2010, there had been a trend towards more fires in central and northern Europe, with fires in countries that “normally do not experience fires in their territory”, he added.

“The overall fire season in the EU is really driven mainly by countries in the Mediterranean region, except in years like this one, in which fires also happen in central and northern regions,” he added.

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