Germany set for more extreme heat and storms

A heat warning was in place in large parts of Germany on Wednesday, while storms and hailstones were forecast in some regions.

A cyclist during the sunrise in Bremen.
A cyclist during the sunrise in Bremen. Photo: picture alliance/dpa | Sina Schuldt

Temperatures in the east of Germany were set to soar up to 40C, the German Weather Service (DWD) said. 

It was slightly less warmer in western regions, with highs of around 34C expected. 

It comes after Tuesday became the hottest day of the year so far in Germany. The mercury hovered around 40C in some places. At the weather station in Duisburg-Baerl, North Rhine-Westphalia, a high of 39.5C was measured.

READ ALSO: Germany braces for hottest day of the year

Emsdetten in North Rhine-Westphalia is said to have even cracked the 40C mark, according to the ARD weather centre.

The previous record for this year – set on June 19th – was 39.2C.

However, the overall heat record for Germany has not yet been broken – a sweltering 41.2C was measured on July 25th 2019 in Duisburg and Tönisvorst on the Lower Rhine near Krefeld.

The below tweet from the German Weather Service highlights some of the hottest temperatures on Tuesday this week.

Heat and thunderstorms

As the heat shifted eastwards, some places were set to be hit by thunderstorms, torrential rain and hailstones. 

In a tweet DWD said there was widespread heat, except in the west and southwest.

“On the other hand, there will be thunderstorms later with the potential for local severe weather due to heavy rain, gusts of wind (around 100 km/h) and large hail!” the weather service added. 

As the map below shows, a heat warning (in purple) was in place for most of Germany on Wednesday. The areas coloured red show isolated storm warnings. 

Screenshot: DWD

According to forecasts, temperatures will drop slightly in the following days and there could be some more storms and rain. 

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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.