Surprise snowy weather comes to Germany but spring on the way

Despite Saturday marking the first day of spring, Germany is currently caught between an area of high pressure over the UK and a low pressure in Scandinavia, which is leading to polar air flowing down across the country.

Surprise snowy weather comes to Germany but spring on the way
A jogger in a Berlin park on Friday. photo: dpa | Kay Nietfeld

The German Weather Service (DWD) has forecast snow and sleet across eastern and southern Germany through Friday and much of Saturday.

Temperatures were forecast to drop to as low as -10C in southeast Germany on Friday evening.

“Even though tomorrow marks the beginning of spring, winter does not yet want to hand over the sceptre,” observed Markus Übel of the DWD.

In the Erzgebirge, a mountain range in eastern Germany, a further few centimetres of snow are forecast to fall on Friday on top of the 75 centimetres of snow still covering the range’s highest mountain, the Fichtelberg.

In the Bavarian Alps and the Black Forest, the persistent cold weather means that a metre of snow still lies in the higher terrains.

Saturday will see an improvement in the weather through much of the country in the morning before more rain clouds march in from the north.

“The temperatures won’t really wake from their slumber though, and will insist on remaining at a late-winter 1C to 8C, while in the southern foothills of the Alps and at higher altitudes there will be constant frost,” said Übel.

But Sunday is set to bring the first hint of spring, as the high system slowly moves into the west of the country.

Temperatures will rise to 10C even as showers and cold winds are to be expected.

Sunday will stay cold in the southeast though, with rain predicted for lower regions and snowfall on higher ground.

Throughout the coming week, the weather is expected to improve as a high pressure system spreads across the whole country, and temperatures will rise into the double digits by the end of the week.

“This will put an end to the unsettled weather and bring more sunshine,” said Übel. “In addition, the cold air passage from the north will be cut off, meaning spring will finally arrive – albeit somewhat late and still rather hesitantly.”

SEE ALSO: Germany sees temperature rise of record 41.9C in one week

Member comments

  1. Ugh, after that winter storm here in Texas I never want to see any more snow again; we got dumped with a winter wasteland than a wonderland…

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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.