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WEATHER

More storms to hit NRW after heavy rains flood streets and basements

As a thunderstorm with lightning and heavy rain swept through North Rhine-Westphalia on Tuesday evening, some streets and basements were flooded. More stormy weather is forecast for Wednesday.

More storms to hit NRW after heavy rains flood streets and basements
Rain clouds over Duisburg. Photo: DPA

As meteorologists at the German Weather Service (DWD) predicted, heavy storms hit areas of Germany on Tuesday, particularly the country’s most populous state NRW.

The Bergisches Land mountainous region and city and surrounding area of Siegen were hardest hit. Several roads and basements were reported as being flooded but no major damage was recorded, police said on Wednesday morning.

The fire brigade in Düsseldorf completed ten missions related to the heavy rains, many of them having to do with flooded basements, according to a spokesperson.

In Wuppertal, the fire brigade was called to operations more than 50 times, many of them due to flooded cellars, a spokesman said. Similarly, in Krefeld, the emergency services were repeatedly called out on missions due to flooded basements or loose roof tiles.

The DWD predict that NRW as well as parts of northern Rhineland-Palatinate, Hesse and Thuringia could see more thunderstorms on Wednesday.

Heavy rain and lightning are expected to hit the northern half of NRW around noon. Wind speeds of up to 50 km/h are also forecast.

In the evening the weather is predicted to calm down and heading into Thursday the showers are expected to subside. Highs of between 15C and 19C are predicted and lows will hover between 6C and 10C.

But don’t put away your umbrellas just yet.

For Thursday, partly cloudy skies are forecast but the afternoon or the evening could see showers or even thunderstorms in and around the NRW region. Though it should remain mostly dry particularly in the southwest of the country.

And on Friday DWD meteorologists state that in varying regions of the north and central Germany, heavy showers and lightning could take place. Wind speeds will be moderate and the showers will gradually diminish heading into Saturday.

WEATHER

‘Heat February’ likely to follow Germany’s warmest January on record so far

After seeing the hottest January so far since records began, meteorologists in Germany are now predicting a warmer-than-usual February, which could bring about problems for winter sports resorts.

‘Heat February’ likely to follow Germany’s warmest January on record so far

Germany is getting hotter. Every decade since the sixties has been warmer than the previous one and the pace is continuing to increase, the German Weather Service (DWD) said in its final climate assessment for the past year released on Monday.

“We are now experiencing hot spells and intensities that we would actually not have expected from climate models for a few decades,” said Andreas Becker, head of the DWD’s climate monitoring department.

READ ALSO: More floods, droughts and heatwaves: How climate change will impact Germany

“Since the year 1881, we now have an increase in the annual mean temperature in Germany of 1.7 C,” Becker said. He added that this increase can only be explained by man-made climate change.

The first half of January – usually considered to be the height of winter – was warmer than ever before this year, at 8.2 C above average. 

But while temperatures are expected to sink and bring some frost and snowfall later this week, meteorologist Dominik Jung from wetter.net, has said that there is no real prospect of a severe cold spell or a deep onset of winter. Meteorologist Alban Burster from wetter.com, meanwhile, said that he expects January to remain mainly foggy and wet.

Looking ahead to February, it seems likely that there will be no change in the warming trend. Meteorologist Jung said that he expects the second month of 2023 to be “almost a kind of ‘heat’ February” – at an average of two to three degrees warmer than the climate average.

Good news for some

For the winter sports season, the warm temperatures are  “a disaster”, Jung said.

READ ALSO: How heatwaves in Germany have led to thousands of deaths

The meagre snowfall is bad news for sports enthusiasts and ski lift operators, many of which have had to resort to using artificial snow – at a significant cost. 

However, for those hoping to save on their home heating bills, the warm winter months, for now, are good news. 

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