Heavy rain in Bavaria swells rivers, but flooding largely avoided

Heavy rain overnight on Friday caused rivers to swell considerably in the south of Bavaria, but German forecaster DWD lifted its severe weather warnings for the south-east of the state on Saturday afternoon.

A woman holds a transparent umbrella to protect herself from the rain
A woman holds a transparent umbrella to protect herself from the rain. Further rainfall is forecast in some parts of Bavaria. Photo: picture alliance/dpa | Peter Kneffel

Higher water levels were recorded in Bavaria’s rivers on Saturday, especially in the areas of the smaller southern tributaries to the upper Danube, the Altmühl, on the upper reaches of the Iller and Lech, the tributaries to Lake Constance and in the Inn area, according to the Bavarian flood centre.

However, the rain had so far only caused a few instances of flooding on medium-sized and larger rivers, it said. 

The region from Swabia to Lake Constance, the Allgäu and parts of Upper Bavaria were particularly affected by the heavy rainfall.

In some areas, more than 100 litres of rain per square meter fell, while others saw the the usual monthly total.

However, despite the heavy rainfall, the effects were minor as the drought of the past few months has significantly reduced water levels in most rivers and streams.

The police said no major storm operations had been carried out, but there were a few incidences of aquaplaning in Lower Bavaria, but no-one was seriously hurt.

Other European countries saw severe storms on Thursday and Friday – some with fatal consequences. Five people died in Austria.

And there was more flooding overnight on Friday in Austrian Vorarlberg, which borders Bavaria.

Looking forward to Sunday, individual showers were expected in the south-east and north-west in Germany, according to DWD.

In the north-west, short thunderstorms were possible in the afternoon, but it should otherwise stay mostly dry. 

At the start of the week, there could still be occasional rain in Lower Bavaria and Upper Lusatia with heavy clouds moving in from the west on Tuesday with some occasional rainfall. 



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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?