Germany braces for hottest day of the year

The mercury is expected to hit the 40C mark in some regions of Germany on Tuesday.

Rays of sunlight penetrate the north tower at the Cologne Cathedral.
Rays of sunlight penetrate the north tower at the Cologne Cathedral. Photo: picture alliance/dpa | Oliver Berg

A heatwave has arrived in Germany – and Tuesday could be the warmest day of the year so far.

According to the German Weather Service (DWD), large parts of the country will experience temperatures of between 34C to 38C, while it could even reach 40C in southwest and western regions.

The hottest day this year so far was on June 19th. According to DWD, the warmest places were Cottbus and Dresden where temperatures reached 39.2C. DWD spokesman Andreas Friedrich told Funke Mediengruppe newspapers: “We can assume that this record will be broken on Tuesday.”

READ ALSO: Warnings of water shortages as heatwave reaches Germany

According to the DWD, the heat record for Germany is 41.2C, which was measured in Duisburg on July 25th, 2019. Andreas Friedrich from DWD said: “It is possible that we will get into similar ranges along the Rhine on Tuesday.” 

Keeping healthy in the heat

A lot of people living in Germany won’t be used to such high temperatures, so the German Health Ministry has published some advice about how to stay healthy in a heatwave.

This includes drinking plenty of water, doing physical activities in the cooler times of the day such as in the morning and evening, keeping your home and yourself as cool as possible, and using sunscreen.

If you have any health problems, it’s important to seek medical advice and, if necessary, check your medication schedule.

READ ALSO: Everything you need to know about staying cool in a German heatwave

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Snowfall due at the weekend as winter arrives in Germany

After a cold blast at the end of November, winter in Germany is set to begin with yet more snow, making it the perfect time to dig out a puffer coat and get out to Christmas market.

Snowfall due at the weekend as winter arrives in Germany

German punctuality has struck once again as winter looks set to arrive right on cue this year, with a flurry of snowfall, ice and frosty conditions in several regions of the country.

According to the German Weather Service (DWD), Saxony-Anhalt could see the mercury drop as low as -6C on Friday as snow continues to fall until the afternoon. The Harz mountains will also get a festive dusting of snow, with temperatures ranging from -1 to -3C in the coming days.   

Saturday is set to be overcast in the region with up to 5cm of snowfall, but things could dry up on Sunday as temperatures rise to a nippy 1-3C. The eastern states of Saxony and Thuringia can also expect icy conditions and snow over the weekend.

In North Rhine-Westphalia, snow is also expected at higher altitudes. In eastern Westphalia and in the Sauerland region, there could be light snowfall or sleet, DWD reported on Friday. Drivers and cyclists should exercise caution as roads are likely to become slippery due to fresh snow or freezing rain.

DWD explains that two high-pressure areas are currently causing colder winds to sweep across Germany. The first, which caused snow to fall overnight across central Germany, is gradually heading south towards France – though the second is set to bring another icy spell to the country on Friday evening and into Saturday.

Bavaria will be the first to experience the chill as the high-pressure zone travels across the Alps overnight. 

The southern state is likely to have a soggy start to the weekend, with rain falling at lower altitudes – though more hilly and mountainous areas will see some snow. But as temperatures drop during the night, residents of Bavaria could see as much as 5cm as snow on Saturday morning.

READ ALSO: Surviving winter: 8 tips for enjoying the cold like a true German

The rest of the weekend will likely be marked by uniform grey skies, frost and drizzle, though those lucky enough to live in an Alpine region could see a few precious rays of sunshine too.

The weather will also take a distinctly wintry turn in Berlin and Brandenburg over the weekend, as the cold front sweeps across northeastern Germany on Saturday and towards the Baltic Sea. 

Friday is likely to be mostly chilly and overcast, with occasional rain or sleet and maximum temperatures of 2C. 

In the night, however, southern Brandenburg will start to see some fresh snowfall, which will move up across Berlin and to the north of Brandenburg over the course of Saturday.

Snow falls outside the Reichstag in Berlin

Snow falls outside the Reichstag in Berlin on Wednesday. Photo: picture alliance/dpa | Christoph Soeder

Berliners should be sure to wrap up if they’re heading out to enjoy the festive scenes, since the mercury is likely to hover between zero and -2C. 

Will the snow settle? 

Unfortunately the dusting of white is unlikely to stick around long in most places – so make your snow angels while you can. 

Misty or overcast skies will return on Advent Sunday, while occasional drizzle could well turn Saturday’s snow into slush. Hilly and mountainous regions will be the only ones treated to an extra helping of snow.

Meanwhile, Monday is set to get off to a soggy and wet start, with rainfall in most regions and temperatures between 1C and 5C. 

READ ALSO: Will Germany see more snow this winter?