Weather: Storm to strike Germany over three-day weekend

At the upcoming three-day weekend, outdoor dining is reopening in large parts of the country. But there’s one factor that could still get in the way of plans: the weather.

Weather: Storm to strike Germany over three-day weekend
Storm clouds were already spotted in Munich on Thursday. Photo: picture alliance/dpa | Peter Kneffel

Wet and windy weather is expected around the Bundesrepublik thanks to the weather front “Marco”, according to the German Weather Service (DWD) on Thursday. 

The storm, which hails all the way from the British Isles, is traveling up through north Germany on its way to Denmark and Scandinavia. 

And its making itself known: On Friday, when outdoor dining reopens in much of the country including Berlin, Bavaria and Saxony, Germany will see gusts of wind of up to 60 and 70 kilometres per hour, especially in the west and northwest of the country.

In Hamburg and Munich, temperatures will hover around 16C with rain, while they will be sunnier in Frankfurt (18C) and Berlin (20C).

Saturday will start out cloudy, but also be peppered with sun in many parts of Germany. Then the clouds from the west will become denser, followed by a downpour of rain and, in some locations, thunderstorms.

Amid the damp weather, the mercury will reach 8 to 12C, but in the east that could pick up to 17C or 18C.

The outlook on Sunday is not much brighter: most of the country will be covered in clouds, bringing light rain and in some cases storms. The mercury will range between 11 and 17C. 

But on Monday, the national public holiday of Pfingsten (Pentecost), temperatures are expected to rise. The DWD predicts milder and largely dry weather with highs up to 23C, at least for a broad strip from the southwest to the east. 

READ ALSO: Which German holiday hotspots are opening up for Pentecost?

Warm air masses from eastern Europe could even bring temperatures between 25 and 30C to the eastern part of Germany.

In the southeast and northwest, however, clouds and showers or showery rain are expected.

Taking the mixed stormy and sunny weekend weather into account, DWD concluded that people in Germany should prepare for weekend temperatures that are neither too hot nor too cold.

“Turning off the heating is hardly worth it. Sandals and shorts can also remain in the closet. It is also advisable to secure loose objects or light plant pots in defence against Marco,” the DWD wrote in a weather report on Thursday.

Yet while outdoor diners may not be happy about seeing their tablecloths whisked away by a sudden strong wind, meteorologists are rejoicing about above-average rain that the month of May has brought to the Bundesrepublik. 

“Sufficient precipitation has fallen in most regions of Germany so far in May,” said forecaster Jacqueline Kernn. “In some cases, the measured rainfall amounts are also significantly above the long-term average. Nature is happy about this.”

For the past few summers, amid record hot and dry temperatures, Germany has experienced a drought which has led to forest fires and agricultural shortages, amid other consequences. 

READ ALSO: German farmers fear drought amid spate of forest fires

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Damaged freighter blocks traffic at drought-hit Rhine

A stranded cargo ship caused traffic to be halted Wednesday at the Rhine river in western Germany after suffering a technical fault, authorities said, at a time when water transport was already ailing from a drought.

Damaged freighter blocks traffic at drought-hit Rhine

The vessel is stuck at St. Goar and Oberwesel, in between the cities of Mainz and Koblenz, water police said, adding that they were expecting to clear the stricken ship within the day.

The machine damage came as water levels in the Rhine had dropped to critical points at several locations, including at nearby Kaub — a known bottleneck for shipping where the river runs narrow and shallow.

The gauge at Kaub stood at 34 cm (13 inches) on Wednesday, well below the 40-cm reference point.

While vessels are still able to navigate at low water levels, they are forced to reduce their loads to avoid the risk of running aground.

About four percent of freight is transported on waterways in Germany, including on the Rhine, which originates in Switzerland and runs through several countries including France and Germany before flowing into the sea in the Netherlands.

READ ALSO: How the Rhine’s low water levels are impacting Germany

Transport on the Rhine has gained significance in recent months because among cargo moved on the river is coal, now all the more necessary as Germany seeks to wean itself off Russian gas.

Germany’s biggest companies have already warned that major disruptions to river traffic could deal another blow to an economy already beset by logistical difficulties.

The 2018 drought, which saw the benchmark depth of the Rhine in Kaub drop to 25 cm in October, shrank German GDP by 0.2 percent that year, according to Deutsche Bank Research.