IN PICTURES: Snow and storms hit Germany
With snow covering areas of southern Germany, and torrential rain and hailstone storms hitting other parts, we brought together pictures showing how the weather is affecting the country.
Snowfall has hit southern Germany as well as Austria, causing chaos on the transport network as well as shutting some schools and leaving residents unable to leave their homes. At the same time stormy weather, including gale-force winds and flooding has battered other parts of the country.
The snow has caused blocked roads, cut-off districts and resulted in immense avalanche danger in many places. In the Bavarian Alps, the authorities have declared the second highest avalanche warning level.
Meanwhile, in Austria, the danger of avalanches has also intensified during the course of Wednesday, DPA reported.
Also on Wednesday, an avalanche partially buried a road in Berchtesgaden in the southern Bavarian region.
Rescue workers said nobody had been harmed. Near Berchtesgaden, authorities said about 350 people were trapped and had to be supplied with food by trucks. The only road to the Buchenhöhe district near the Obersalzberg is closed until further notice, said a spokesman for the Berchtesgadener Land District Office.
In the morning, work had begun to clear the route.
People in the Upper Bavarian community of Jachenau near Bad Tölz are also dependent on food supplies because the access road is closed. Residents and rescue workers can only reach the village via a small forest road.
And it looks like the situation will continue as even more snow is expected. According to the German Weather Service, snow will continue to fall until at least the middle of next week, especially in the Alpine region - with only minor interruptions. A current storm warning due to heavy snowfall is in place until Friday.
From the Black Forest and Bavaria to Bremen, here's a round-up of some of the images that have captured the unpredictable weather situation.
Snow lies on a train at the station in Berechtesgaden, Bavaria on Thursday. Photo: DPA
A snow-covered car at the car park of a supermarket on Thursday in Kaufbeuren, Bavaria. Photo: DPA
An athlete trains in the snow-covered Thuringian Forest on Wednesday. Photo: DPA
'No trains' sign on a passenger information board at Miesbach station, Bavaria on Wednesday. Photo: DPA
A snow plough drives past trees during heavy snowstorms on Wednesday in the Hinterzarten area of the Black Forest, Baden-Württemberg. Photo: DPA
A snow plough drives through the city centre of Miesbach in Bavaria next to piled up snow on Wednesday. Photo: DPA
The German Weather Service said fresh snow was possible in the coming days, particularly in the south of Germany and Austria, but perhaps also in other parts of the country.
Hamburg's famous fish market was hit with flooding on Tuesday due to the overflowing river Elbe during the storm dubbed 'Benjamin'. Photo: DPA
Water splashes over the quay wall in Bremen as storm Benjamin raged on the German coasts. Photo: DPA
The forest on Fichtelberg, Saxony, was covered in deep snow Tuesday. The storm also brought persistent snowfall among other things to the Erzgebirge mountain range. Photo: DPA
A dog jumps next to children as they sledge in the snow in Unlingen-Möhringen, Baden-Württemberg on Saturday. Lots of schools are still closed in Bavaria due to the extreme weather. Photo: DPA
The water of the river Trave was very high at the old storehouses near the Holstentor in Lübeck, Schleswig-Holstein on Wednesday. Photo: DPA
Three winter road clearance vehicles in operation on the Autobahn 9 in Garching, Bavaria on Wednesday, while warning signs above the A9 warn of icy conditions. Photo: DPA
A pedestrian with an umbrella is caught by a gust of wind in Hannover, Lower Saxony. Photo: DPA