‘Heatwave could go down in history’: Germany faces temperatures of up to 41C

A possibly record breaking heatwave is coming to Germany, and will hit the western part of the country particularly hard.

'Heatwave could go down in history': Germany faces temperatures of up to 41C
Berlin's Brandenburg Gate on Wednesday morning as the heat begins. Photo: DPA

Temperatures upwards of 40C could be reached in Saarland and in the Mosel Valley on Wednesday, according to the latest predictions from the German Weather Service (DWD).

But Thursday will mark the hottest day of the week, according to current calculations, and the Ruhr region – including Cologne – the Mosel Valley, and Saarland are likely to reach temperatures of 41C, according to DWD spokesperson Andreas Friedrich.

In the Rhine-Main area, heat records are also possible, with the Mercury expected to exceed 40C on Thursday. Further afield in Kitzingen in northern Bavaria, a historical heat record of 40.3C could also be broken.

“If these predictions are met, this heatwave would go down in the history books,” Friedrich told RP Online. “As a meteorologist, I have never seen anything like this before.” 

DWD tweeted a map of western Germany, and its expected temperatures, on Thursday. 

In the Ruhr area, the lowest temperatures on Wednesday night are not likely to fall below 25C. 

According to current forecasts, meteorologists expect four consecutive “tropical nights” in the region. 

“The heat load will be extreme”, Friedrich said. “One can only hope that the models will not occur and that there will be new calculations with a forecast of one or two degrees less.”

In Berlin and eastern Germany, temperatures upwards of 34C are expected on Thursday, according to DWD.

As was the case in June, the DWD is likely to issue heat warnings in the coming days. Warning level 2 will be issued if there is extreme “heat pollution” – or a temperature above 38C – during the day. 

A warning level 1 is issued when the so-called perceived temperature at 2 pm is 32C or more. The perceived temperature used as a measurement by DWD is not the same as the air temperature, as it also takes into account the humidity of the air, the wind, and the sun's radiation. 

The heatwave of the coming days is already the fourth this summer for some regions in Germany. That's an unusually large number, DWD and other weather experts have said. 

SEE ALSO: 'This isn't normal': Germany braces for fourth heat wave of summer

Already in June, regional record temperatures were exceeded in several places. 

In fact, throughout Germany, it was the warmest and sunniest June since the beginning of area-wide measurements.

SEE ALSO: Germany records its hottest June temperature


possibly record-breaking heatwave – (die) rekordverdächtige Hitzewelle

Predictions – (die) Vorhersagen 

Current calculations – (die) derzeitigen Berechnungen 

Tropical nights – (die) Tropennächte

Perceived/felt temperature – (die) gefühlte Temperatur 

Heat load – (die) Wärmebelastung

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Weather: Germany braces for ‘extreme storms’

Weather forecasters in Germany have warned people to prepare for thunderstorms.

Weather: Germany braces for 'extreme storms'

Storms already hit some parts of western Germany on Thursday after temperatures had spiked in the mid-30s on Wednesday. 

At around 4pm, gusts of 105 km/hour were recorded at the Münster-Osnabrück weather station, the German Weather Service (DWD) said.

The DWD issued a warning of severe thunderstorms for western parts of the country, particularly North Rhine-Westphalia.

They said people should expect severe conditions as well as hailstones throughout the day on Thursday. 

Stormy weather on Friday too

Weather experts said more of the country is likely to experience “extreme storms” with thunder and hailstones on Friday.

Central Germany is likely to be affected most, but forecasters said it’s hard to predict exactly where the storms will hit until nearer the time. 

According to a DWD meteorologist, the highest warning level (level 4) is likely to be declared in many places. “This means that there is a threat of massive damage where the thunderstorm moves,” said the Offenbach-based forecaster.

So-called supercells, which are also referred to as ‘rotating thunderstorms’, may also form. 

Forecasters say the stormy weather is due to the warm and increasingly very humid air mass coming from the west.