Heat wave brings thunderstorms, hail and heightened forest fire risk to Germany

Heat wave brings thunderstorms, hail and heightened forest fire risk to Germany
People in a dinghy on the Storkower See in Brandenburg on June 17th. Photo: dpa-Zentralbild | Patrick Pleul
With temperatures forecast to stay in the low to mid-thirties in much of Germany over the weekend, many people will take the chance to enjoy the sun in the great outdoors. But sudden storms are also forecast for parts of the country, while forest fires are a concern in the east.

An area of high pressure squatting over the east of Germany is set to bring continued high temperatures to Berlin and the eastern states on Saturday. 

The German Weather Service (DWD) has predicted that the highest temperatures in the country will hit the German capital and the surrounding regions, with the mercury rising to 37 degrees in Berlin.

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Dresden will only be slightly cooler, sweating under highs of 35 Celsius.

Munich and the south will see slightly more pleasant temperatures with highs of 30 degrees on Saturday, while the northern coastal reasons will enjoy more mild temperatures in the mid to high twenties.

But the DWD has forecast sudden storms in the entire western half of the country on Friday that will gradually move eastwards over the weekend.

By Sunday there is an increased chance of violent localized storms across much of the country as Germany experiences yet another tropical night of humid, warm weather. When these storms hit they could bring hail and hurricane-force winds.

People who want to stay up-to-date can download the DWD weather warning app HERE.

Two die on Baltic coast

During the current heatwave two people have drowned in the Baltic Sea.

Off the island of Rügen, rescue workers pulled a lifeless 43-year-old man from the water on Thursday. Attempts to revive him proved unsuccessful. His brother had reported the man missing.

A 71-year-old woman also died near Greifswald. Her husband had pulled her out of the water after noticing that she was unconscious. Resuscitation attempts were unsuccessful and the woman died on the way to the hospital.

High forest fire risk

The DWD has cranked the forest fire risk level up to 5 – its highest level – for the northeast of the country. 

Brandenburg has a history of forest fires due to the fact that the states receives little rainwater in the summer and has dry, sandy earth. 

The state, known for its pine forests, has had to deal with more than 80 forest fires this year. That’s not a lot in comparison with past years – last year there had been over double that number by this point – but the risk is increasing with the rising temperatures and decreased rainfall.

In other states such as Bavaria, Saxony and Lower Saxony, the danger of forest fires is increasing with each passing day. In many areas the fire warning level currently stands at 4.

“The vast majority of forest fires are caused by negligent behaviour,” said Renke Coordes, spokesman for Saxony’s sate forests. He said that people should not smoke, barbecue or light campfires in these areas.


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