Frosty roads and 'icy rain': Cold spell continues in Germany

DPA/The Local
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Frosty roads and 'icy rain': Cold spell continues in Germany
Light snowfall has transformed the city of Magdeburg into a wintry landscape. Photo: picture alliance/dpa | Stephan Schulz

Germany is slated to see below freezing temperatures until at least the end of the week, said meteorologists from the German Weather Service (DWD) on Monday.


The new week is getting off to an icy start in Germany. In the early morning hours on Monday, the mercury had dipped to -8C in Hanover, -6C in Bremen and -5C degrees in Passau.


"It has become cold. And cold it will remain for some time," DWD meteorologist Felix Dietzsch said on Monday in a statement. "Through a northern current, polar cold air has flowed into Germany and will stay with us in the coming week." 

READ ALSO: Winter freeze to strike Germany as mercury dips to -20C

With the exception of the coasts and low-lying areas in western Germany, where temperatures hovered at around 0C in the morning, Dietsch said most of the country was seeing frost. He urged drivers to stay especially cautious on slippery roads.

Dense fog is also coating many areas, especially in the west and southwest, with visibility of less than 150 meters. Over the weekend, wintry road conditions already led to accidents: in Zwickau, Saxony, two cars collided, leaving four people injured, according to a police spokeswoman.

A gritting vehicle from the winter road clearance service drives on highway 9 in Saxony and spreads salt on the roadway.

A gritting vehicle from the winter road clearance service drives on highway 9 in Saxony and spreads salt on the roadway. Photo: picture alliance/dpa | Jan Woitas

Throughout the day on Monday, Germany is slated to see 1 to 5 centimetres of fresh snow stretching eastern Bavaria across the eastern low mountain range to eastern Western Pomerania. 

In areas at a higher altitude, such as the Ore and Zittau Mountains, even up to 10 centimetres could accumulate by Monday afternoon. 

According to the forecast, there will be widespread light to moderate permafrost during the day, said Dietzch. 

Icy rain, also known as sleet, is expected to hit several regions of Germany, including Berlin, by Wednesday. The southern half of Germany in general is slated to see non-stop rain during the day.

In some regions, the rain could turn to snow, especially the area stretching from the Allgäu to southern Upper Bavaria, Dietzsch said.

Skiers hit the slopes again

Over the weekend, those who were not afraid of the cold could enjoy the pleasant sides of the winter weather - be it on the slopes or at a Christmas market.

Skiers did not just race to the famous Alps, but also some low mountain ranges. The first of four lifts opened at Sonnenberg in the Upper Harz Mountains. 

READ ALSO: 9 things to know if you're visiting Germany in December

"We were surprised how many people have already taken up the offer and are very satisfied," operator Oliver Schmidt told DPA. 

Meanwhile, in the Thuringian Forest, cross-country ski trails opened for the first time this season. Tobogganers also took advantage of the wintry weather in many places.


By the end of November, Germany had logged the warmest year on record, with many speculating that winter sports would be difficult to pursue if the pattern stretched into December.

READ ALSO: 'Clear indication of climate change': Germany logs warmest year on record

"All in all, this is the right weather for a festive Christmas season - and also for a visit to the Christmas market," wrote DWD in its Monday report. "Because when it's cold outside, the Glühwein tastes just a little bit better."


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