Just kidding! Winter isn’t over yet

A chilly weather pattern known as Märzwinter, or “March winter” will not spare Germany this year. Experts await Arctic air and snow showers throughout the week, despite the early signs of spring that gave false hope just days ago.

Just kidding! Winter isn't over yet
Photo: DPA

The central European weather phenomenon can bring an unwelcome final winter blast of frosty temperatures in mid-March, often when the previous winter proved mild.

“A significant temperature increase won’t occur before the weekend,” said Gustav Puhr from the Meteomedia weather service.

This year’s Märzwinter low pressure system is called “Herbert.” The temperamental weather formation is currently resting over Eastern Europe after feeding off a high pressure system over the northern Atlantic Ocean.

Because the low pressure system moves counter-clockwise, and a high pressure system moves clockwise, the two entities can create strong airflow from the north, German Weather Service (DWD) meteorologist Thomas Ruppert said on Monday.

The same chain of events can also lead to a cold snap called Eisheilige, or “Ice Saints” in May, and the Schafskälte, or “Lamb’s Chill” in June.

Unfortunately, knowing a bit about the causes and charming names for unpleasant weather patterns won’t be much consolation to those forced to brave heavy showers, sleet and snow on Tuesday as temperatures remain between two and nine degrees Celsius.

On Wednesday, most of Germany will be treated to mirthless cloud cover carrying more rain and heavy snow for higher altitudes, particularly in the Alps. Southerly winds could turn violent at high altitude as temperatures remain below seven degrees Celsius.

While Thursday will begin to show signs of warmer weather to come, the south will still have to contend with dreary clouds, rain and snow. The northern parts of the country will be slightly less wet.

Click here for The Local’s weather forecast.


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.