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STORM

Trains cancelled as storm ‘Nadine’ ravages Germany

Some areas were hit by hurricane level winds as storms swept across Germany from the West on Thursday night, leading to major disruptions in the transport networks.

Trains cancelled as storm 'Nadine' ravages Germany
Storms over Berlin on Thursday. Photo: DPA

The storm, nicknamed “Nadine”, raged across Germany, with the Hanover area and the North Sea coast among the worst hit regions. On the coast, there were reports of winds of up to 140km/h, enough to be classified as a hurricane on the Beaufort scale.

The weather knocked out large swathes of the transport network, knocking out several high-speed rail routes. Lines between Hanover and Kiel, Bremen and Hamburg and Osnabrück and Löhne were all suspended until Friday morning, a Deutsche Bahn spokesperson said.

There were also disruptions on other national and regional services, leaving DB forced to provide trains as accomodation for stranded passengers in Dortmund, Hanover, Braunschweig and Berlin.

Frankfurt Airport briefly suspended all activity on Thursday afternoon, with approximately 150 inbound and outbound flights affected.

At Berlin’s Olympiastadion, spectators at the Athletics European Championships were told to remain in the stadium after the end of the action for safety reasons, while fallen trees were reported in North-Rhine Westphalia, Rhineland-Palatinate and Saarland.

Temperatures will return to highs of around 30 degrees in the next few days, the German Weather Service (DWD) reported, Nadine will be followed by a warm front named Kevin.

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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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