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WEATHER

Extreme weather advisory as thunderstorms to hit southern Germany

After strong storms caused streets and cellars to flood in Lower Saxony and Hesse on Sunday, German meteorologists have warned of an extreme weather watch as more thunderstorms and heavy rain are predicted for the southwest of the country on Monday.

Extreme weather advisory as thunderstorms to hit southern Germany
A flooded street in Hesse on Sunday. Photo: DPA

Around noon, the storm from the northeast will start making its way down to the southwest toward Baden-Württemberg, bringing with it hail and heavy rain throughout the day and into the evening, according to the German Weather Service (DWD).

Rain will continuously fall in the Alps and at the western edge of the mountainous range, while temperatures will hover between 15C and 25C.

Meanwhile the north and the centre of the country will be sunny and dry on Monday, with temperatures climbing to summer-like highs of between 25C and 29C in some areas.

Localized thunderstorms are predicted for the rest of the week at least until Thursday, reports the DWD.

Due to the severe weather on Sunday, the emergency services were out on dozens of calls in cities and towns across Lower Saxony and Hesse.

In Osnabrück, basements filled up with water and street were flooded. The rail route between Osnabrück and Oldenburg was temporarily closed down due to fallen trees on the tracks.

The third day of a music festival in the town of Aurich was moreover cancelled due to the bad weather. According to a police spokeswoman, 5,000 visitors left the site within an hour due to the area being completely full of water.

Lightning, thunder and heavy rain also meant that firefighters had their work cut out. A lightning strike is likely what caused a house in Wirdum, East Frisia to catch fire. The family of four living inside were able to escape unharmed, though firefighters spent three hours putting out the flames.

In Hesse, rescue workers in the Vogelsberg district near Fulda were busy dealing with flooded roads and cellars as well as mud slipping down hillsides.

There were no casualties after a car was carried away by floods and thrown against the wall of a house in Feldatal.

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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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