Autumn to begin with no last gasp of summer

Hopes for a late burst of summer as Germany heads into autumn are looking dim, with this week set to limp along with cloudy skies and high temperatures struggling to reach the 20s, the German Weather Service (DWD) said Tuesday.

Autumn to begin with no last gasp of summer
Photo: DPA

DWD meteorologist Jens Hoffmann said that a high pressure system named ‘Helmut,’ which is currently sitting over Britain, was not looking inclined to move east and provide Germany with some warmer and sunny days as the meteorological autumn begins Wednesday on September 1.

Instead, cool sea air flowing south and right across Germany to the Alps is damping the ambitions for a pleasant and agreeable end to summer.

“(Helmut) is staying put for now, and is showing us, in the true sense of the word, the ‘cold shoulder.’”

Unsettled conditions are set to continue Tuesday afternoon with heavy cloud in the south and southeast, accompanied by showers and isolated storms. Though most of the rest of the country should stay dry, high temperatures won’t reach more than 13 to 19 degrees Celsius.

Overnight lows will drop to 12 degrees across the north but considerably colder in the south, with a chilly four degrees in parts. Light frost is even possible in parts of the south.

It will be a fresh start to the start of autumn on Wednesday, with maximum temperatures ranging from 13 degrees in the eastern region of Vogtland and the Alps to 20 degrees in the Upper Rhine.

Heavy cloud will prevail from the North Sea to below the eastern highlands and as far as eastern and northern Bavaria, along with isolated showers. Otherwise it will be mostly dry, though some parts will see cloud overhead. The southwest has the best chance of seeing some decent sunshine, though the sun will also likely break through on the Baltic coastal region.

Overnight will again be chilly, dropping to between 5 and 12 degrees.

On Thursday the south and west will, after early morning fog in some areas, remain mostly dry, though with some cloud. Heavier cloud will dominate the east and north, with some rain. High temperatures will range from about 15 degrees in the eastern highlands to 21 in the Upper Rhine.

Overnight, the skies over most of Germany will remain clear, though the east may see some cloud and a shower or two, with low temperatures again ranging from 5 to 12 degrees.

Unsettled clouds will dominate on Friday, especially in the east, where this will develop into isolated showers. The southwest, more happily, can expect longer patches of sunshine. Highs will range from 15 to 20 degrees.

Click here for The Local’s weather forecast.

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2022 sees record wildfire destruction in Europe: EU

Europe's blistering summer may not be over yet, but 2022 is already breaking records, with nearly 660,000 hectares ravaged since January, according to the EU's satellite monitoring service.

2022 sees record wildfire destruction in Europe: EU

And while countries on the Mediterranean have normally been the main seats of fires in Europe, this year, other countries are also suffering heavily.

Fires this year have forced people to flee their homes, destroyed buildings and burned forests in EU countries, including Austria, Croatia, France, Greece, Italy, Portugal and Spain.

Some 659,541 hectares (1.6 million acres) have been destroyed so far, data from the European Forest Fire Information System (EFFIS) showed, setting a record at this point in the year since data collection began in 2006.

Europe has suffered a series of heatwaves, forest fires and historic drought that experts say are being driven by human-induced climate change.

They warn more frequent and longer heatwaves are on the way.

The worst-affected country has been Spain, where fire has destroyed 244,924 hectares, according to EFFIS data.

The EFFIS uses satellite data from the EU’s Copernicus Atmosphere Monitoring Service (CAMS).

READ ALSO: EXPLAINED: How the climate crisis is hitting Europe hard

The data comes after CAMS said Friday that 2022 was a record year for wildfire activity in southwestern Europe and warned that a large proportion of western Europe was now in “extreme fire danger”.

“2022 is already a record year, just below 2017,” EFFIS coordinator Jesus San-Miguel said. In 2017, 420,913 hectares had burned by August 13, rising to 988,087 hectares by the end of the year.

“The situation in terms of drought and extremely high temperatures has affected all of Europe this year and the overall situation in the region is worrying, while we are still in the middle of the fire season,” he said.

Since 2010, there had been a trend towards more fires in central and northern Europe, with fires in countries that “normally do not experience fires in their territory”, he added.

“The overall fire season in the EU is really driven mainly by countries in the Mediterranean region, except in years like this one, in which fires also happen in central and northern regions,” he added.