Germany sees heavy snowfall as winter blizzard strikes

Germany is expected to see up to 30cm of fresh snowfall and 90km-per-hour winds on Tuesday evening as Storm Christian sweeps across the southern and western regions of the country.

Father Christmas in the Snow
A man dressed as 'Nikolaus' rides a horse-drawn sleigh through a snowy field in Baden-Württemberg on Tuesday, November 30th. Photo: picture alliance/dpa | Thomas Warnack

Reporting the weather on Focus, meteorologist Jan Schenk warned that the combination of forceful winds and heavy snow could lead to dangerous conditions in the south of the country over Tuesday evening and into the night. 

“Peak winds in the south will reach 90km-per-hour in the lowlands and hurricane force over the peaks of the Alps,” he said. “This could lead to snow drifts at higher altitudes and at the foot of the Alps.”

In regions lying to the south of Dresden and Saarbrücken, drivers could face challenging conditions such as icy roads, snow drifts and poor visibility, Schenk cautioned. 

On Tuesday afternoon, the German Weather Service (DWD) tweeted a graphic showing estimates of the depth of snow across the country.

The mountainous regions of Baden-Württemberg, Bavaria and Thuringia saw the heaviest snowfall, with a few centimetres falling across the southern lowlands. 

Later on Tuesday, more fresh snow is expected to settle in the Black Forest, Bavarian Forest and alpine regions as the storm continues into the night, while other parts of Bavaria, Thuringia and Baden-Württemberg will see between 5cm and 30cm of fresh snow. 

More northerly regions saw a touch of frost on Tuesday morning, but this turned to sleet and heavy rain throughout the day as temperatures thawed. 

Mild start to December

In the middle of the week, the dramatic snowstorms are likely to give way to damp, windy weather and milder temperatures. In some regions, the mercury could even go into the double digits, providing some brief respite from the wintry cold, according to the German Weather Service (DWD).

December will start on Wednesday with mostly rain and overcast skies, with strong southwesterly winds expected to blow across the country. In contrast to the snowy end to November, Wednesday will be quite mild with temperatures between four and 11C.

Pop-up vaccination clinic in Hamburg
People queue up for a Covid jab in the rain in Hamburg on Tuesday afternoon. Photo: picture alliance/dpa | Thomas Müller

On Thursday night, according to the weather service, it will remain overcast with further rain – though temperatures could drop as low as minus two degrees, bringing ice and slippery roads. 

During the day, the skies will clear up, especially in the north of the country. In the east, there will be moderate westerly winds with strong gusts, but on the coast the gale-force winds will gradually abate.

In central Germany, it will remain cloudy until the afternoon, with more snow due to fall at higher altitudes. 

According to meteorologists, temperatures will range between minus one and seven degrees Celsius.

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Germany set for scorching temperatures up to 30C

After days of summery weather, temperatures in Germany are set to peak at around 30C this week before a cooler spell over the weekend.

Germany set for scorching temperatures up to 30C

After a long spell of sunny weather, most parts of Germany could see summer arrive early this week with clear blue skies and sweltering temperatures – but the hot weather may not last long, according to meteorologists.

Heat and sunshine should last through the middle of the week but suddenly give way to cooler temperatures over the weekend, the German Weather Service (DWD) predicts.

On Tuesday, most regions see temperatures in the mid to high 20s and a continuation of the dry weather of the past week. In the northeast, including Berlin, the mercury could reach 28C, and temperatures are likely to be between 22C and 28C across western and central areas.

Those in higher altitude regions of the south and those along the north coast should be the only people needing their rain jackets as this part of the country could see scattered showers and clouds, according to DWD.

Wednesday is the day to plan a lake trip as this is likely to be the hottest day of the week. 

Most parts of the country will stay sunny and dry throughout the day and people can expect summery temperatures of between 24C and 30C.

For those on the north coast, it’s likely to be a little chillier, with temperatures of around 15C and partly overcast skies.

Thursday and Friday are likely to bring with them cooler temperatures, with the hot spell giving way to scattered showers and clouds in many regions over the weekend.

On Saturday, southern regions will see highs up of up to 23C while the northern regions will slip down to 18C during the day.

But anyone planning to be out and about on Saturday evening in the south should bring a warm jacket as the mercury could drop as low as 4C. 

Sunny weather Standbad Lübars

A woman enjoys the warm weather at Standbad Lübars in Berlin. Photo: picture alliance/dpa | Britta Pedersen

Northern regions ‘too dry’ 

Though most people have been thrilled to see a warm burst of sunshine in the middle of spring, climate experts have been voicing concern about the uneven rainfall across the country.

In an analysis published on the DWD website, the meteorologists claimed that the northern and eastern parts of Germany have been “clearly too dry” in the past weeks.

“A first glance at the current map already reveals that the regional differences of April have continued in May,” they wrote. “In almost all regions of the northern half and in some parts of the centre, hardly more than 10 and in many places not even 5 litres of rain per square-metre fell in the first days of May.”

READ ALSO: EXPLAINED: How the climate crisis is hitting Europe hard

Though experts had predicted low rainfall, the first 10 days of May have been even drier than predicted.

The lack of rainfall has caused groundwater to dry up significantly, sparking fears of forest fires and drought over summer.

Though more rainfall could come at the end of May, the Weather Channel’s Jan Schenk believes the probability of an overly dry summer is now “very high”.

Schenk believes that predictions for rainfall could have overestimated the amount of precipitation by up to 50 litres per square metre in some areas. This is a reason for households to start saving water now, he told HNA