Hitzewelle: This is how long the heatwave in Germany will last

For several days in a row, temperatures around Germany have been well over 30C. When will the heat let up?

Hitzewelle: This is how long the heatwave in Germany will last
Sunflowers at sunrise in Munich on Wednesday morning. Photo: DPA

The weather in Germany continues to leave us all sweltering with temperatures up to 36C expected on Wednesday, as well as a few storms in some parts of the country.

And brace yourselves: the ‘Hitze’ is far from over. 

“What is striking about this heatwave is the endurance. At least until Wednesday one week from now, it will simply remain very hot,” said meteorologist Dominik Jung to the weather portal 

READ ALSO: Germany records hottest temperature of year as country braces for more heat

“And even after that it continues to be quite warm with flashes of extreme heat,” said Jung, adding that there are no signs of significant cooling down until August 21st. 

What's the outlook over the next few days?

In the northern and eastern parts of the country, the weather will remain sunny and dry throughout the day on Wednesday, according to the German Weather Service (DWD). 

In the west and along the Bavarian Alps, thunderstorms and lightning are set to strike throughout the day.

Tourists in Berlin seek out shade on Wednesday. Photo: DPA

The mercury will be the highest in the west and southwest of Germany; there temperatures are expected to climb to 36C on Wednesday.

At the sea it will become bit cooler with maximum temperatures of 25 to 30C.

READ ALSO: In Photos: This is what Germany looks like during the 'Hitze'

In Berlin, temperatures will stretch to 31C, in Frankfurt 34C, in Cologne 34C with scattered thunderstorms throughout the day, and in Munich 30C.

Thursday and Friday are similar: high temperatures of up to 36C will be met by heavy thunderstorms.

Consequences for nature

Already on Tuesday, storms had swept over larges parts of Germany, especially in the south.

Some roads were not passable due to fallen trees or landslides. In Bavaria, the Schweinfurt fire brigade was called 90 times in the evening because of the storm.

The heatwave also perpetuates the dry weather, said Jung, as there has not been enough rain throughout the year.

Germany is heading for an extreme drought for the third year in a row, with a risk of forest fires in many parts of the country, such as Berlin's neighbouring Brandenburg.

“It could hardly be worse,” said Jung. “And while everyone is cheering that it will be so beautiful in the summer, nature, forests and agriculture continue to suffer.

“The forest has already suffered a great deal of damage from the drought so far.”

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What temperatures can we expect in Germany this week?

Parts of Germany will see another heatwave this week as temperatures soar.

What temperatures can we expect in Germany this week?

The German Weather Service (DWD) has predicted that the mercury will climb in some regions of to around 34C this week. 

“After low pressure ‘Karin’ gave parts of Germany rain, sometimes in large quantities, high pressure ‘Piet’ is now back in pole position,” said meteorologist Lars Kirchhübel of the DWD.

This high pressure zone will dominate the weather in large parts of western and central Europe over the coming days, the weather expert said, adding that it will reach Germany too. 

On Monday temperatures remained fairly cool across the country after a weekend of showers, but they are set to climb over the course of the week, particularly on Wednesday and Thursday. Forecasters predict it could reach 32C in Stuttgart and 33C in Cologne on Thursday. Locally, temperatures could reach 34C. 

However, from the Oder and Neisse rivers to the Erzgebirge mountains and southeast Bavaria, denser clouds and some showers are to be expected. This is due to a high-level low pressure system over the Balkan region, according to forecasters. Short showers are also possible in the Black Forest.

“In most of the rest of the country, high ‘Piet’ will be able to hold its ground,” said Kirchhübel.

READ ALSO: Heavy rain in Bavaria swells rivers, but flooding avoided

At the end of the week, thunderstorms are forecast but temperatures are expected to remain high. 

August in Germany ‘too dry’

According to the European Centre for Medium-Range Weather Forecasts, August as a whole – apart from a few areas in eastern Germany – will be too dry compared to the multi-year average.

The Black Forest, the High Rhine and the Allgäu to the Bavarian Forest, however, are not expected to have any major problems due to the high rainfall of the past few days.

“Looking at Rhineland-Palatinate, the southern half of Hesse, the western half of North Rhine-Westphalia and Lower Franconia shows a different picture,” said Kirchhübel. In the last 30 days, only about 10 percent of the usual level of precipitation fell in some places.

“At some stations, no precipitation at all has been measured in August,” added Kirchhübel, referencing Würzburg as an example.

Rainfall at the weekend caused the water in the Rhine river to rise slightly. In Emmerich, the water level reached a positive value again after the historic low of the past few days: in the morning, it showed three centimetres – an increase of six centimetres compared to the previous day.

The water level also rose by several centimetres at the other measuring points in North Rhine-Westphalia: in Cologne, the level rose to 80cm and in Düsseldorf to 38cm.

READ ALSO: Damaged freighter blocks traffic at drought-hit Rhine

Despite this encouraging trend, the Waterways and Shipping Authority said it did not expect a huge improvement in water levels in the foreseeable future due to more hot weather coming.