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.


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.