Even though Thursday marks the official start of the summer season, residents in Deutschland have been swimming outdoors, BBQing on patios and overindulging in ice cream for the past few months.
April saw the highest average temperatures nationwide since records began well over a century ago, with highs on some days reaching into the 30s. May similarly saw the mercury rise to above-average figures.
On the question of whether July and August will be just as hot as the previous months, German meteorologists are reluctant to make long-term predictions, as reliable forecasts can only be made up to ten days in advance.
But data models “can be used to predict how seasons will change,” said Peter Hoffmann from the Potsdam Institute for Climate Impact Research (PIK). The climate expert added that spring is increasingly setting the tone for the development of summer.
“This spring, April and May were unusually hot or warm. And this combination could mean that summer will enter a cooler phase later,” said Hoffmann.
At the same time, certain weather conditions could continue. As such, according to the expert’s seasonal data models, the weather could remain similar to how it is now for a longer period of time – only it might be cooler.
While this may be an unwelcome forecast for holidaymakers who had hoped the summer would be similarly hot and sunny as the spring, there’s no need to lose hope just yet.
After a “significant cooling” and a dip in temperatures across the Bundesrepublik on Friday and into the weekend, the German Weather Service (DWD) predicts that by mid-week next week, it will feel like summer across most of the country.
By then, the length of sunshine will continue to increase and temperatures are expected to exceed 25C regionally. Only along the coast – especially by the North Sea – will temperatures remain somewhat milder with highs between 20C and 24C, according to the DWD.
And even if the summer months are somewhat cooler than the past few months, Hoffmann points out that since the 1960s, there has been an acceleration in the average temperatures in Germany.
“The last few decades have generally seen an increase of one degree Celsius per 30 years,” he said, adding that the number of hot days has also almost doubled in recent decades.
In agreement with DWD meteorologists, Hoffmann said: “Climate change is in full swing.”
As such, if weather conditions continue, Germany could see an increase of up to four degrees Celsius in this century alone. This means that extremely hot days – similar to the ones seen in May and April – could become the norm in the near future.