Germany sees heavy snowfall as winter blizzard strikes

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
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.

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.”

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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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