Weather warnings issued for black ice as freezing temperatures continue in Germany

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Weather warnings issued for black ice as freezing temperatures continue in Germany
Two pedestrians walk along icy roads in Hamburg. The DWD is warning people to avoid unnecessary outings amid slippery conditions. Photo: picture alliance/dpa | Marcus Brandt

The German Weather Service (DWD) is warning residents in several German states to avoid unnecessary travel as black ice causes hazardous conditions on roads and pavements.


As the winter chill continues across Germany, frozen drizzle and sleet is creating slippery conditions for pedestrians and motorists alike, the DWD has warned.

According to meteorologists, a combination of minus-degree temperatures and damp weather towards the end of the week caused patches of black ice to gather on roads, cycle paths and pavements on Thursday evening and Friday morning.

In the states of Berlin, Brandenberg, Lower Saxony, Thuringia, Saxony and North-Rhine Westphalia in particular, residents can expect "an increased risk of slippery conditions due to frozen rain", DWD explained.

The situation is likely to ease up as temperatures grow milder during the day, but weather experts are still cautioning people to avoid unnecessary trips and exposure to the cold. 

In Berlin, accident wards reported at least 40 cases of injury due to slipping on ice, with several cases of broken wrists an ankles.

READ ALSO: IN PICTURES - Bitter cold spell arrives in Germany as temperatures dip to -16C

To minimise risk of injury, doctors recommend the so-called "penguin gait" when walking on icy roads, keeping the body's centre of gravity positioned above the front leg. 

Emergency services also reported a spike in road accidents due to the slippery conditions.


In Potsdam, a 35-year-old driver was badly injured after she lost control of her vehicle and crashed into a tree.

In the small town of Westerstede in Lower Saxony, a man also suffered severe injuries after he lost his orientation in the fog while driving and careered off the road into two trees. 

Since early January, a cold front sweeping through Germany from Scandinavia has caused temperatures to drop dramatically, with snow falling in high-altitude regions and temperatures dropping as low as -16C. 

Though the freezing temperatures have eased slightly, parts of the northeast can still expect the mercury to drop to between 1C and -5C in northern regions of the country this weekend, with icy winds and stormy conditions along the coast.


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