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'Tropical' heat predicted after storms bring floods and mudslides

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'Tropical' heat predicted after storms bring floods and mudslides
Flooding in Herrstein, Rhineland-Palatinate on Sunday. Photo: DPA
14:58 CEST+02:00
Following severe storms and flooded roads and basements in several German regions on Sunday, the country is forecast to get tropical-like weather this week.

Northern and western Hesse, the southwest of Rhineland-Palatinate and the Vogtland region in Saxony were particularly affected by the storms late in the day on Sunday.

In northern Hesse, local fire brigades reported a significant amount mud and hail which had seeped into houses. The hail flooded under doors and through windows, even filling up some basements. Heavy equipment was used to remove mud and debris from the roads.

Flooding in Rhineland-Palatinate on Sunday. Photo: DPA

The police in southern Rhineland-Palatinate responded to emergency calls in two municipalities which were hardest hit by the severe weather: Fischbach and Herrstein. "Several villages are completely flooded," said a police spokesman, adding that the water was metres high in some areas.

The authorities in Herrstein reported that a 1.6-metre flood wave had swept through the district. In Fischbach, cars were carried away due to the floods.

In the Vogtland region, the torrential rainfall on Sunday meant that cellars were flooded with water. Lightning also struck a 70-year-old barn which housed several vintage cars. Last week the area also saw heavy storms which had flooded railways and roads.

Even air traffic was affected due to Sunday’s severe storms.

At Frankfurt Airport, several flights were cancelled in the evening. 66 take-offs and landings were struck off, according to a spokesman at Germany’s largest airport. Whether or not this was exclusively due to the thunderstorms could not initially be confirmed.

Lightning strikes in Bad Homburg in Hesse on Sunday. Photo: DPA

In North Rhine-Westphalia (NRW), two young women were struck by lightning near Bochum. One of the women is in critical condition after being resuscitated on Sunday evening, according to firefighters.

NRW residents will again have to brace themselves for heavy thunderstorms. A spokesperson for the German Weather Service (DWD) said on Monday morning that storms are to be expected from the early afternoon onward.

Temperatures similar to those typically enjoyed in the tropics are forecast for Germany this week; the north of the country is predicted to get the highest temperatures, with the mercury set to up to 33C locally.

“That is impressive for the end of May," said meteorologist Thomas Ruppert, adding that combined with the humidity, the weather in Germany will get a "slightly tropical coating."

Highs into the 30s were also seen in parts of Germany last month, which was the hottest April ever recorded in the country.

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