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LIGHTNING

‘Tropical’ heat predicted after storms bring floods and mudslides

Following severe storms and flooded roads and basements in several German regions on Sunday, the country is forecast to get tropical-like weather this week.

'Tropical' heat predicted after storms bring floods and mudslides
Flooding in Herrstein, Rhineland-Palatinate on Sunday. Photo: DPA

Northern and western Hesse, the southwest of Rhineland-Palatinate and the Vogtland region in Saxony were particularly affected by the storms late in the day on Sunday.

In northern Hesse, local fire brigades reported a significant amount mud and hail which had seeped into houses. The hail flooded under doors and through windows, even filling up some basements. Heavy equipment was used to remove mud and debris from the roads.

Flooding in Rhineland-Palatinate on Sunday. Photo: DPA

The police in southern Rhineland-Palatinate responded to emergency calls in two municipalities which were hardest hit by the severe weather: Fischbach and Herrstein. “Several villages are completely flooded,” said a police spokesman, adding that the water was metres high in some areas.

The authorities in Herrstein reported that a 1.6-metre flood wave had swept through the district. In Fischbach, cars were carried away due to the floods.

In the Vogtland region, the torrential rainfall on Sunday meant that cellars were flooded with water. Lightning also struck a 70-year-old barn which housed several vintage cars. Last week the area also saw heavy storms which had flooded railways and roads.

Even air traffic was affected due to Sunday’s severe storms.

At Frankfurt Airport, several flights were cancelled in the evening. 66 take-offs and landings were struck off, according to a spokesman at Germany’s largest airport. Whether or not this was exclusively due to the thunderstorms could not initially be confirmed.

Lightning strikes in Bad Homburg in Hesse on Sunday. Photo: DPA

In North Rhine-Westphalia (NRW), two young women were struck by lightning near Bochum. One of the women is in critical condition after being resuscitated on Sunday evening, according to firefighters.

NRW residents will again have to brace themselves for heavy thunderstorms. A spokesperson for the German Weather Service (DWD) said on Monday morning that storms are to be expected from the early afternoon onward.

Temperatures similar to those typically enjoyed in the tropics are forecast for Germany this week; the north of the country is predicted to get the highest temperatures, with the mercury set to up to 33C locally.

“That is impressive for the end of May,” said meteorologist Thomas Ruppert, adding that combined with the humidity, the weather in Germany will get a “slightly tropical coating.”

Highs into the 30s were also seen in parts of Germany last month, which was the hottest April ever recorded in the country.

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WEATHER

Bavaria hit by severe snowstorms and gales

The German Weather Service (DWD) issued a severe weather warning in several parts of Bavaria on Thursday as the southern state was struck by heavy snowfall and 100km-per-hour winds.

Bavaria hit by severe snowstorms and gales

The heavy snowfall and high winds, which began on Wednesday, caused multiple accidents and delays on roads overnight in several parts of the state, according to police.

Since the early hours of the morning, there were “considerable traffic obstructions throughout Lower Bavaria due to the weather”, a spokesperson for the police said, adding that emergency services had been called out to around 100 incidents in the region.

“There have already been numerous traffic accidents and traffic disruptions due to the weather. Several vehicles have already had to be rescued from ditches and trees removed from the roadways.”

The extreme weather is expected to continue on Thursday across southern and eastern Germany, with “no end in sight” to the heavy snowfall, according to DWD. 

In districts near the Alps and the Bavarian Forest, gusts of up to 100 kilometres per hour and drifting snow are expected, meteorologists reported. 

In the eastern districts and along the Alps, meanwhile, DWD has forecasted severe snowstorms and thunder. In parts of Franconia, Lower Bavaria and the Upper Palatinate, torrential rain will continue throughout Thursday and potentially lead to flooding. 

On Thursday morning, DWD issued a stage 4 weather warning – the highest possible – for multiple districts in the state. Forecasters warned of icy roads, heavy downpours and thunderstorms throughout the day and into the evening.

Berchtesgadener Land, Rosenheim, Passau and Regensburg were among the 13 districts where warnings of severe storms were issued. 

READ ALSO: IN PHOTOS: Germany hit by sudden snowstorms and temperatures as low as -10C

Drivers were urged to take caution on icy roads and DWD also warned of potential avalanches in mountainous areas where up to 1.5m of fresh snowfall was expected.

The rain and snow is set to die down on Friday, but freezing temperatures could lead to icy and slippery conditions for drivers. 

Central and eastern German states – and parts of the Baltic coast – have also been experiencing turbulent storms in recent days, which meteorologists expect to last into Friday. 

By the weekend, however, the high winds and stormy conditions are expected to have largely died down, with overcast skies, patchy rainfall and highs of around 11C. 

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