More heavy rain forecast for flood-hit west of Germany

Regions in the west of Germany that were devastated by flash floods in July are forecast to suffer more heavy rain on Tuesday, with the German Weather Service (DWD) issuing a weather warning for parts of Rhineland-Palatinate.

More heavy rain forecast for flood-hit west of Germany
The aftermath of the flood in Bad Neuenahr-Ahrweiler on Monday august 2nd. Photo: Thomas Frey/dpa

The district of Ahrweiler, the epicentre of July’s flood catastrophe, is to be inundated with a further 35 litres of rain per square metre during Tuesday afternoon, according to the DWD forecast.

In mid-July, a tsunami-like wave rushed down the Ahr valley bursting the banks of the river, destroying houses and catching many residents unprepared.

On Monday, the total death toll for the Ahr region was confirmed at 138 with several dozen more people still missing. Clean up efforts continue.

The DWD issued further weather warnings for parts of Rhineland-Palatinate and Saarland on Tuesday, forecasting storms and heavy rainfall. Temperatures are expected to remain mild, with highs of 21C.

Weather warnings have been issued for much of western, southern and central Germany for Tuesday afternoon. In northern Bavaria up to 40 litres of rain per square metre is forecast to fall in an hour on Tuesday evening in storms.

In Hesse, up to 30 litres of rain per square metre is expected to fall during localised storms.

The north and east and the country are expected to be spared the rainy, wet weather.

‘Every day counts’

SPD parliamentary party leader Rolf Mützenich called on Tuesday for a special session of the Bundestag in order for parliamentarians to pass a reconstruction fund for the victims of the flooding disaster. 

“Now that it is becoming apparent that all the states will participate in a reconstruction fund together with the federal government, the SPD believes that the Bundestag should discuss the legal requirements during the summer break and make decisions quickly,” Mützenich told the Rheinische Post.

He added that “every day counts.”

The SPD politician said that “houses, roads, utilities and bridges must be restored as quickly as possible”.

More than 180 people died in the storm of the century in North Rhine-Westphalia and Rhineland-Palatinate some two and a half weeks ago. There was also enormous damage to property.

SEE ALSO: German prosecutors consider manslaughter probe into deadly floods

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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.