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WEATHER

Public warned as Storm Antonia lashes Germany

Wind gusts exceeding 100 km/h have injured motorists, toppled trees, and disrupted train travel around Germany.

Public warned as Storm Antonia lashes Germany
Hamburg's fish market floods during Storm Antonia. Photo: Daniel Bockwoldt/DPA

Storm Antonia—the third severe storm to hit Germany since Thursday, swept through the country with winds of up to 100 km/h in the southwestern state of Baden-Württemberg, and even recorded hurricane force winds of 149 km/h on the Feldberg mountain peak in the Black Forest.

Two drivers in Lower Saxony were injured when their cars crashed into a tree that Antonia had blown over.

Both drivers had to be taken to nearby hospitals in the Osnabrück district, according to a police spokesperson. The storm also overturned a truck on Schleswig-Holstein’s Fehmarnsund Bridge, closing the roadway to the nearby island in both directions. In the meantime, Antonia also flooded parts of Hamburg’s Altona district.

Antonia also damaged cars and destroyed roofs in North-Rhine Westphalia. Fire crews in Herdecke, just south of Dortmund, reported that a roof of one apartment building flew off and landed on another building, massively damaging it, although no injuries were reported.

200 metres of a bus overhead line in Solingen were also completely ripped out after a tree fell on the line.

German state rail company Deutsche Bahn is also warning travellers to expect both delays and cancellations on Monday after storm damage made more than 6,000 kilometres of rail track impassable.

Long distance trains originating in the northeastern cities of Rostock and Stralsund saw their services to both Hamburg and Berlin cancelled.

Further cancellations were seen on routes between Emden and Cologne and operations between Siegen and Dortmund. Regional rail service in North-Rhine Westphalia was halted as a precautionary measure on Sunday evening, but are set to resume normal operations Monday.

Replacement bus services on rail lines operated by Metronom in Lower Saxony, Hamburg, and Bremen are expected to be in place until Monday afternoon, with rail restrictions in Thuringia, Saxony, Saxony-Anhalt, Rhineland-Palatinate, and Saarland expected to last through much of Monday.

Following disrupted train services, some lessons in the Lower Franconian district of Miltenberg were cancelled for Monday.

Antonia is the third severe storm to hit Germany since Thursday and some damage still remains from previous storms Ylenia and Zeynep.

At least six people died in those two storms, with insurance claims expected to be in the billions.

Meteorologists with the German Weather Service (DWD) say high winds will remain an issue in Germany this week, but will be weaker.

Vocabulary

Hurricane – (der) Orkan  

Storm – (der) Sturm 

Storm damage – (die) Unwetterschäden

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WEATHER

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

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