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Storms on the way after Germany's record-breaking heatwave

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Storms on the way after Germany's record-breaking heatwave
Youngsters play at the Hopfensee in Füssen, Bavaria, during sunset on Thursday, Germany's hottest day. Photo: DPA
09:42 CEST+02:00
After record-breaking temperatures in Germany, it's getting slightly less warm – and storms are on the way.

It was a day to go down in the history books. On Thursday Germany broke several records as the highest ever temperatures since records began were recorded amid a Europe wide heatwave. 

Now forecasters say there will be a slight bit of relief from the extreme heat (in some places at least) over the coming days, although a heat warning is still in place for the western half of the country.

It came after results gathered by the German Weather Service (DWD) recorded a new all-time record high in Lingen, Lower Saxony, after the mercury reached 42.6C at 6pm on Thursday. They confirmed the result on Friday after a series of checks. 

  • In fact, 25 DWD stations across Germany recorded a 40C temperature or more, which shows just how hot the country was.

  • A total of 15 stations were higher than the previous record of 40.3C recorded in Kitzingen, Bavaria in 2015.

  • Six German states had a new temperature record.

DWD tweeted that it was a day that would go down in the history of weather.

The new record came only a few hours after a high of 41.5C was recorded in Lingen. On Wednesday, a previous record of 40.5C was reached in Geilenkirchen, near Mönchengladbach, North Rhine-Westphalia.

Until this week, the previous heat record was 40.3 degrees, measured in the summer of 2015 in Kitzingen, Bavaria.

IN PICTURES: How Germany is dealing with 'hottest ever temperatures'

Worldwide reaction

Swedish environmental activist Greta Thunberg, who was in Berlin last week at a Fridays for Future anti-climate change protest, commented on the record-breaking heat. She said: "Preliminary new German heat record... 42.6°C! Over 2° warmer than the old record. Which was yesterday..."

The World Meteorological Organization also retweeted the German Weather Service with the new record.

READ ALSO: Climate crisis: Berlin to be 'as hot as Australia in 30 years'

Train travellers can cancel or exchange tickets

Due to the heat, rail operator Deutsche Bahn has offered customers travelling during the heatwave the chance to exchange their tickets or cancel them for free.

"All customers who wish to postpone their journey on 25 and 26 July 2019 due to the high temperatures can cancel DB Fernverkehr AG tickets free of charge or postpone their journey until 4 August 2019," said the firm.

They added that seat reservations were also available for exchange. There is more information here.

The heat also led to a political debate, with the Greens calling for a "heat action plan" which would provide more help to the elderly and sick people during extreme heat, and allow employees to work from home on the hottest days.

However, it came under fire from employer groups who called it unrealistic, reported DPA.

Thunderstorms to sweep the country

On Friday, temperatures could hit 40C in the west of the country. The DWD said it was already 28C in the west of the country at 8.20am. They advised people to take caution when going outside in the sun and drink plenty water. Elsewhere, temperatures will be between 32 to 38C. 

Once again in the northeast of the country, and on the coast, it remains a little cooler, with highs of around 29C.

Forecasters said the hot air front, dubbed ‘Yvonne', was shifting away from the country.

And thunderstorms are set to sweep into the country from Friday onwards. This new low pressure zone is “slowing but surely” approaching the west and south of Germany, said meteorologists.  

This means that storms could hit this part of the country on Friday and Saturday, while on Sunday, rain showers and thunderstorms are expected in many spots across Germany. 

The temperatures at the weekend will be slightly lower than those seen in the past days, with highs between 27 to 34C on Saturday and 24 to 31C on Sunday.

Next week it is expected to remain warm but the outlook is changing regularly with possible showers on the way.

 
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