A purple heat warning from the German Weather Service (DWD) was in place for most of the country, except far north coastal areas, as temperatures were expected to soar towards 40C during the peak of the current heatwave.
According to forecasters, the highest temperatures were expected in southwest Germany, where an extreme dark purple heat warning was in place on Thursday.
In the Upper Rhine Graben (Oberrheingraben) region, meteorologists at DWD warned of an “extreme heat load”. Temperatures were expected to reach 39C locally.
In Berlin, the mercury was set to rise to 36C, while in Cologne and Munich, temperatures of 33C were forecast.
In the far west and northwest of Germany, it was to remain somewhat cooler at 27 to 32C, according to forecasts. Experts said thunderstorms were possible in the northwest, plus a local risk of hailstones and strong winds.
It came as firefighters battled a severe forest fire in Berlin’s Grunewald near a police munitions storage site. It has affected travel in the area.
Wildfires have also been raging in parts of Brandenburg amid the hot weather this week.
Forecasters said that although there were sweltering temperatures, Thursday would likely not be the hottest day of the year so far. The warmest day this year was in July when 40.1C was measured in Hamburg-Neuwiedenthal.
“Thursday will be hot, but it doesn’t look like we’ll break the 40C mark,” said a DWD meteorologist.
The heat record for Germany is 41.2C. It was recorded in North Rhine-Westphalia on July 25th 2019.
On Friday, thunderstorms are due to sweep Germany from the west, DWD said.
A cold front is predicted to bring temperatures down by more than 10C overnight in western Germany, falling to around 20-25C on Friday, reported AFP.