It was a day to go down in the history books. On Thursday Germany broke several records as the highest ever temperatures since records began were recorded amid a Europe wide heatwave.
Now forecasters say there will be a slight bit of relief from the extreme heat (in some places at least) over the coming days, although a heat warning is still in place for the western half of the country.
It came after results gathered by the German Weather Service (DWD) recorded a new all-time record high in Lingen, Lower Saxony, after the mercury reached 42.6C at 6pm on Thursday. They confirmed the result on Friday after a series of checks.
Die Überprüfung ist abgeschlossen: @DWD_presse bestätigt den neuen Temperaturrekord von 42,6°C, gemessen am 25. Juli 2019 an der DWD-Wetterstation Lingen/Ems.
— DWD (@DWD_presse) July 26, 2019
In fact, 25 DWD stations across Germany recorded a 40C temperature or more, which shows just how hot the country was.
A total of 15 stations were higher than the previous record of 40.3C recorded in Kitzingen, Bavaria in 2015.
Six German states had a new temperature record.
Heiß, heißer, Deutschland – Ein Tag für die Wettergeschichte! (Vorläufige Ergebnisse)
– neuer Allzeitrekord in Lingen bei 42,6°C um 2,3 °C wärmer
– 25 Stationen mit 40 °C oder mehr
– 15 Stationen wärmer als der alte Rekord in Kitzingen
– 6 Bundesländer mit neuem Tmax-Rekord pic.twitter.com/DIk4tuHXfl
— DWD (@DWD_presse) July 25, 2019
DWD tweeted that it was a day that would go down in the history of weather.
The new record came only a few hours after a high of 41.5C was recorded in Lingen. On Wednesday, a previous record of 40.5C was reached in Geilenkirchen, near Mönchengladbach, North Rhine-Westphalia.
Until this week, the previous heat record was 40.3 degrees, measured in the summer of 2015 in Kitzingen, Bavaria.
Swedish environmental activist Greta Thunberg, who was in Berlin last week at a Fridays for Future anti-climate change protest, commented on the record-breaking heat. She said: “Preliminary new German heat record… 42.6°C! Over 2° warmer than the old record. Which was yesterday…”
Preliminary new German heat record.. 42,6 °C! Over 2° warmer than the old record.
Which was yesterday…. https://t.co/i4OuL5VLu7
— Greta Thunberg (@GretaThunberg) July 25, 2019
The World Meteorological Organization also retweeted the German Weather Service with the new record.
Train travellers can cancel or exchange tickets
Due to the heat, rail operator Deutsche Bahn has offered customers travelling during the heatwave the chance to exchange their tickets or cancel them for free.
“All customers who wish to postpone their journey on 25 and 26 July 2019 due to the high temperatures can cancel DB Fernverkehr AG tickets free of charge or postpone their journey until 4 August 2019,” said the firm.
They added that seat reservations were also available for exchange. There is more information here.
The heat also led to a political debate, with the Greens calling for a “heat action plan” which would provide more help to the elderly and sick people during extreme heat, and allow employees to work from home on the hottest days.
However, it came under fire from employer groups who called it unrealistic, reported DPA.
Thunderstorms to sweep the country
On Friday, temperatures could hit 40C in the west of the country. The DWD said it was already 28C in the west of the country at 8.20am. They advised people to take caution when going outside in the sun and drink plenty water. Elsewhere, temperatures will be between 32 to 38C.
Once again in the northeast of the country, and on the coast, it remains a little cooler, with highs of around 29C.
Freitag, 26. Juli 2019: 8.20 Uhr und bereits 28 Grad im Westen Deutschlands. Dazu ein paar lockere Wolken, meist aber Sonnenschein. Sonnenschutz nicht vergessen und ausreichend trinken. /V pic.twitter.com/RW9IFCixAi
— DWD (@DWD_presse) July 26, 2019
Forecasters said the hot air front, dubbed ‘Yvonne’, was shifting away from the country.
And thunderstorms are set to sweep into the country from Friday onwards. This new low pressure zone is “slowing but surely” approaching the west and south of Germany, said meteorologists.
This means that storms could hit this part of the country on Friday and Saturday, while on Sunday, rain showers and thunderstorms are expected in many spots across Germany.
The temperatures at the weekend will be slightly lower than those seen in the past days, with highs between 27 to 34C on Saturday and 24 to 31C on Sunday.
Next week it is expected to remain warm but the outlook is changing regularly with possible showers on the way.