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Warning over icy roads and storms as Germany gets first taste of winter

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Warning over icy roads and storms as Germany gets first taste of winter
Plummeting temperatures in Germany mean there is more snow, ice and frost. Photo: DPA
12:46 CET+01:00
Winter is coming to Germany as frost, ice, storms – and even some snow – hits the country.

The first snow of the season fell on higher grounds including in the Swabian Alb area and the Brocken in the Harz mountain range in Saxony-Anhalt at the weekend.

In the Black Forest snow ploughs were also in use, while up to 55 centimetres of snow fell on Germany's highest peak, the Zugspitze.

And in the coming days more snow is expected at higher altitudes, and it's going to get frosty in many parts of the country.

German Weather Service (DWD) forecasters expect temperatures below freezing in most of Bavaria in the coming days. It comes after temperatures dropped to –8C in the Oberallgäu region on Saturday night, German media reported.

In other parts of southern Germany it's not been quite as cold but drivers should be careful in the morning and when it gets dark because of frost and icy weather. Dense fog has also been creating some problems.

Lows of –1C are expected in southern Germany on Thursday.

The DWD tweeted to say there had been fresh snow on Tuesday morning.

Meanwhile, strong gusts of wind and storms have also been affecting Germany, especially in coastal regions. 

READ ALSO: Golden October: Germany enjoys sunshine and warmth

Yellow (level one) and some orange (level two) weather warnings were in place on Tuesday in northern regions as well as the south and west as shown in the DWD map below.

Screenshot: DWD

On Twitter, DWD said strong winds could last until Wednesday night. On the East Frisian North Sea island of Norderney, gusts up to 52km/h were recorded and in Helogland, Schleswig-Holstein there were gusts of 65km/h.

A DWD spokesperson said autumn was in full swing.

"We all need a jacket and scarf, some already need hats and gloves,” the spokesperson said. 

People who live at high altitudes will also have to prepare for more snow and slippery roads in the coming days. 

About 600m of snow is expected in the Erzebirge, Bavarian Forest and in the Alps. 

Drivers urged to prepare

It is expected to be frosty at night in lowland areas too, and there is some risk of black ice if rainfall freezes over.

Forecasters warned drivers to take extra caution and to change to winter tyres if they hadn't already.

"Those who have not yet changed over to winter tyres should do so now," said the spokesperson. "If you are involved in an accident with unsuitable tyres, you will be fined irrespective of whether you are to blame for the accident or not."

Experts also said it was a good idea to leave for work earlier in colder weather so drivers are not tempted to rush on the roads.

“Pedestrians and cyclists should wear suitable clothing," the spokesperson added. They advised wearing visible jackets and making sure bikes have reflectors and lights.

 
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