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WEATHER

Germany to see temperatures up to 20C after winter freeze

Just a few days ago there was tons of snow and frozen lakes. But this weekend spring-like weather is expected in most of the country.

Germany to see temperatures up to 20C after winter freeze
People enjoying the sunshine at Langenargen Am Bodensee in Baden-Württemberg on February 17th. Photo: DPA

But police union bosses say they are worried people won't follow coronavirus rules in the sunshine.

Temperatures across Germany reached over 10C on Friday. The mercury is expected to climb higher on Saturday although there could be some showers, and it will remain chilly in some places, including the northeast.

The warmest areas will be in the west and on the northern edge of the low mountain ranges, with light to moderate winds.

READ ALSO: Germany embraces cold snap amid warnings over icy waterways

On Sunday highs of 19C are expected in Cologne – and the mercury could even hit 20C in some parts of the west locally. Temperatures of around 18C are expected in Hanover and Münster, while forecasters predict 16C for Frankfurt and 15C in Berlin.

On Sunday the southeast around Munich could be a big cooler with about 10C.

The German Weather Service (DWD) tweeted to say the spring-like weather comes after last week's winter weekend. Although it is still expected to be frosty overnight – so don't forget to wrap if you are spending time outside.

The arctic temperatures in recent weeks- which saw lows of 26.7C at one point – were brought to the region by the polar vortex split.

But a new weather front has arrived, bringing with it mild temperatures for the coming days.

READ ALSO: Why Germany is facing extreme winter weather this month

The spring-like weather is caused by a high pressure area dubbed “Ilonka”, which is moving in from North Africa, said forecaster Adrian Schmidt of Meteogroup.

Despite the February sun which can be strong, bathing in lakes is not yet the order of the day. “The lakes have to thaw out first,” said Schmidt – and they will still be extremely cold.

The weather will cool down towards the end of next week in Germany – although hopefully not to the levels we saw earlier this month. 

Police boss urges people to stick to rules

The spring-like forecast is causing some concern.

The German Police Union (DPolG) expects more people to break coronavirus contact rules because of the mild temperatures.

Currently a household is allowed to meet with one other person.

The nice weather could tempt people to become careless, said chairman Rainer Wendt. “Sun rays are not a Corona vaccine – some people forget that.”

He urged residents to observe distance rules and contact restrictions, and said police would take action against anyone found to be violating the rules.

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LIVING IN GERMANY

5 signs you’ve settled into life in Germany

From stripping off to keeping your paperwork in order, here are five indications that you're becoming a true German.

5 signs you've settled into life in Germany

Germany can be a difficult country to settle into and there are a lot of strange traditions and cultural quirks that take some getting used to. But if you find that at least three of the following apply to you, it’s a sure sign that you’ve adapted to life in the country. 

You’re comfortable getting naked

One of the biggest shocks ex-pats often experience when first arriving in Germany is the ease with which Germans take off their clothes.

In saunas, spas and the changing rooms of sports facilities, it’s perfectly normal to walk around with everything on display in Germany. In the summer, the fondness for nudity becomes even more visible, as lovers of Frei-körper-kultur (FKK) bare all while basking in the sun on beaches and in parks.

So, if you find yourself happily shedding your clothes without a care in the world, it’s a sure sign you’ve become accustomed to life in the Bundesrepublik.

READ ALSO: Why do Germans love getting naked?

You don’t do anything on a Sunday

A young woman wears sweatpants in front of the TV in Offenbach am Main, Germany. Photo: picture alliance / dpa | Christoph Schmidt

Nowhere is the saying “Sunday is a day of rest” truer than in Germany, and it’s a principle that can be baffling and frustrating to ex-pats who first move to the country.

The Sonntagsruhe (Sunday rest) principle is so important in Germany, that it’s even written into the constitution.

Article 140 of the law says: “Sundays and state-recognised public holidays remain protected by law as days of rest from work and spiritual upliftment.” 

This is why shops are closed on Sundays and why some home DIY could end up with a visit from the police – as making excessive noise is, in some cases, a criminal offence.

So if you find yourself shushing your neighbours for hoovering on the sabbath, you’re very well on the way to being a German.

READ ALSO: Why are shops in Germany closed on Sundays – and will it ever change?

You’re always on time

It’s no secret that punctuality is a big deal in Germany, and it’s a cultural trait that foreigners have to get on board with quickly.

Turning up just a minute late can result in missed appointments and a black mark against your name with your employer. 

It’s wise, therefore, to adopt the German practice of planning ahead, and aiming to arrive early.

So if you now consider arriving on time as already late and a meeting with friends organized with less than two weeks’ notice to be spontan (spontaneous) you’re 99 percent of the way to becoming German.

You have a filing cabinet

Getting to grips with German bureaucracy is one of the biggest hurdles newcomers to the country have to grapple with.

Tabs with the names of the different types of taxes such as “wage tax”, and “dog tax”, in a file folder. Photo: picture alliance / dpa | Tobias Hase

There are countless Bescheinigungen (certificates) to keep hold of, you’re obliged to keep wage slips for at least a year, and health insurers and state authorities still love to send out paperwork. 

READ ALSO: Germany ranked as ‘worst country in world’ for essential expat needs

Once you’ve carelessly thrown away an important document or two, you quickly learn that the only way to survive in Germany is to keep track of your paperwork – and the best way to do that is to get yourself a filing system.

You go prepared to the supermarket

In Germany, grocery shopping is a serious business. 

Expats are often shocked by the lighting-fast check-out workers who expect you to bag your own items in an equally speedy manner to keep the queue moving. 

Supermarket trips for Germans also entail the return of bottles to the machine to reclaim their deposits. 

So, if your trips to the supermarket are accompanied by a bag full of Pfandflaschen and some sturdy, reusable bags, you can consider yourself well acclimatised to life in Germany.

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