Heavy storms hit western Germany following heat wave

Following the hottest day of the year in Germany, storms are hitting the western part of the country.

Heavy storms hit western Germany following heat wave
Symbol photo shows storms in Bonn, western Germany. Photo: WetterOnline/Shutterstock/DPA

With a peak temperature of 32.9 degrees, Sunday was the hottest day of the year to date in Germany. According to the DWD (German Weather Service), the mercury jumped this high in Geldern-Walbeck, North Rhine-Westphalia, as well as in Lenzen (Elbe) in Brandenburg.

This heat is only expected to increase in eastern Germany, with highs of up to 35 degrees predicted for parts of Brandenburg on Monday. For the rest of the country, the temperature is expected to hover around 22 to 27 degrees.

READ ALSO: Temperatures of 30C predicted in Germany in June

A girl enjoying the warm weather in Brandenburg on Sunday. Photo: DPA

But in the western regions of Germany, DWD warned of heavy thunderstorms with heavy rain, hail and gusts of wind.

On the weather portal, numerous lightning strikes were reported, particularly in the Rhine country, in the Ruhr district and south of Bremen.

Emergency services in Duisburg were deployed five times on Sunday night due to fallen trees. Several cars were damaged, but people were not injured. According to a police spokesman, numerous households in the Kleve district were briefly affected by a presumably storm-related power failure on Sunday evening.

Strong thunderstorms also struck in Düsseldorf, Mönchengladbach, Essen and Münster – according to the local fire brigades, however, these were mild and did not involve major operations.

A car drives through a puddle in Düsseldorf on Sunday. Photo: DPA

DWD meteorologists expected the thunderstorms to move further east during the course of Monday. In a broad strip from Baden-Württemberg to the Baltic Sea, thunderstorms, heavy rain, wind – and even some hail is expected. In Saxony-Anhalt strong heat thunderstorms with heavy rain and hail are possible.

For Baden-Württemberg, a DWD meteorologist predicted 30 to 40 liters of rain per square meter and hail locally. They couldn’t yet say, however, exactly where the thunderstorms will occur.

“There is potential everywhere. The southern and southeastern part of the country will probably be most affected,” said the meteorologist.

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Tornado in western Germany injures dozens

Almost 40 people were injured, several seriously, on Friday in a suspected tornado which hit the western German city of Paderborn, the police and fire brigade said.

Tornado in western Germany injures dozens

A police spokesman said the tornado also caused significant damage in the city in the North Rhine-Westphalia state, following abnormally high temperatures for the time of year.

The city’s fire department said on Twitter that “38 injured people, including some gravely” had been taken to hospital. The police said one person was fighting for their life.

Paderborn, fire service added, “Please do not drive to Paderborn on your own without prior agreement of help. If necessary, further units of the fire brigade will be alerted and called in.”

In neighbouring Rhineland-Palatinate state, a 38-year-old man died after he was electrocuted when he entered his flooded basement and fell on his head, the police in the city of Koblenz said.

Railway travel was disrupted in the west of the country, as police called on people to remain indoors.

In Paderborn, police estimated the damage caused by the tornado at “several million” euros.

The spokesman reported “roofs torn off, windows shattered and numerous trees uprooted throughout the city”.

View of destroyed cars on a street. A tornado caused massive damage in Paderborn and Lippstadt on Friday 20th May 2022.

View of destroyed cars on a street after a tornado caused massive damage in Paderborn and Lippstadt on Friday 20th May 2022. Photo: Picture Alliance/Dpa/Friso Gentsch

Images posted on social media showed the tornado column progressing towards homes, sweeping away trees and building sections. Other pictures from the wider region showed cars that had been upturned.

The town of Lippstadt, about 30 kilometres away (18 miles), was also probably hit by a tornado, a fire department spokesperson said, though no injuries had been recorded. The steeple of the church in Lippstadt had been destroyed by the high winds.

People stand in front of the St. Clemens Catholic Church in Hellinghausen near Lippstadt, the top of which was destroyed. A suspected tornado caused massive damage in Lippstadt on Friday 21st May 2022. Photo: Picture alliance/DPA/Friso Gentsch

German meteorological services had put out a storm warning for Friday and predicted gales of up to 130 km/h (80 miles/h) in some places.

The bad weather first hit the west of the country and was set to travel eastwards.