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WEATHER

Can Germany look forward to a white Christmas in 2021?

Germany experienced some wintery temperatures and even snow in the early weeks of December, but does this mean that we're in for a magical white Christmas? We take a look at the latest weather reports.

Christmas tree in the snow in Bavaria
A decorated Christmas tree in the snow in Bad Hindelang, Bavaria, on December 12th. Photo: picture alliance/dpa | Karl-Josef Hildenbrand

With just a week to go until Christmas Eve, hopes have been growing in Germany to see the country transformed into a dazzling white winter wonderland just in time for the holidays.

Meteorologists have been forecasting the weather with high anticipation, as many earlier models showed cold winds and snowfall sweeping across the country by the 24th.

READ ALSO: Germany sees heavy snowfall as winter blizzard strikes

Unfortunately, under the latest forecasts from Friday, those high hopes have been dashed somewhat. 

According to meteorologist Christian Häckl, the current weather situation is making a white Christmas in Germany increasingly less likely.

“The strong high pressure system will probably shift its core too far north for a white Christmas,” he told Wetter.de on Friday. “This opens the door for low pressure areas to rush in from the west and bring us rather mild and wet weather in Germany.”

Unfortunately, this means temperatures could go up to 10C in the lowlands, leaving most German families with a drizzly outlook as opposed to Lapland-esque paradise on Christmas Day.

Nevertheless, there are some regions in which the remains of snow will last until the fourth week of Advent, RTL meteorologist Patrick Panke claims.

“At least in the high areas of the Bavarian Forest, the Alps or the Black Forest, Upper Harz and the Ore Mountains, the remaining snow has a good chance of surviving the current thaw,” he said. 

Hikers in the snow
Hikers enjoy a snowy hike in the Harz mountains on December 11th, 2021. Photo: picture alliance/dpa/dpa-Zentralbild | Matthias Bein

What’s the general outlook? 

Though the chances of a white Christmas have gone down slightly, there’s a good chance that a cold spell could return in the days leading up to Christmas Eve.

Meteorologists believe the mercury could drop next week as areas of low pressure gather in the east. This could bring icy winds from Siberia into the county, raising the odds of waking up to a blanket of snow on Christmas morning. 

“We have to reduce the probability of white Christmas a bit everywhere,” Häckl said, referring to his current modelling. “But that doesn’t mean we’re going to call off the white Christmas completely.”

However, people who live in the western regions of Germany probably shouldn’t get their hopes up too much, experts say. 

Whether in Freiburg, Nuremberg, Frankfurt or the Eifel Valley, residents of Baden-Württemberg, North Rhine-Westphalia, Hesse and Rhineland-Pfalz are likely to see temperatures around 11C and rain on the 24th and 25th. 

Elsewhere, in higher-up regions, hopes are resting on the festive weekend of the 25th and 26th for temperatures to drop once again, bringing a burst of snow to people in hilly or mountainous areas.

According to meteorologist Carlo Pfaff, the probability of snow in the mountains sits between 50 and 90 percent, depending on the altitude of the mountain range. 

READ ALSO: Fact check: Did it really use to snow more often in December in Germany?

In the milder low-lying regions, however, there could be a chance of storms.

“I don’t want start forecasting wind peaks just yet, but it could well be that Christmas will also be stormy with the mild temperatures,” said Wetter.de meteorologist Martin Pscherer.

As they say, however, a week is a long time in meteorology – so we’ll keep you updated if we hear a whisper of incoming snow nearer the time. 

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WEATHER

Germany set for scorching temperatures up to 30C

After days of summery weather, temperatures in Germany are set to peak at around 30C this week before a cooler spell over the weekend.

Germany set for scorching temperatures up to 30C

After a long spell of sunny weather, most parts of Germany could see summer arrive early this week with clear blue skies and sweltering temperatures – but the hot weather may not last long, according to meteorologists.

Heat and sunshine should last through the middle of the week but suddenly give way to cooler temperatures over the weekend, the German Weather Service (DWD) predicts.

On Tuesday, most regions see temperatures in the mid to high 20s and a continuation of the dry weather of the past week. In the northeast, including Berlin, the mercury could reach 28C, and temperatures are likely to be between 22C and 28C across western and central areas.

Those in higher altitude regions of the south and those along the north coast should be the only people needing their rain jackets as this part of the country could see scattered showers and clouds, according to DWD.

Wednesday is the day to plan a lake trip as this is likely to be the hottest day of the week. 

Most parts of the country will stay sunny and dry throughout the day and people can expect summery temperatures of between 24C and 30C.

For those on the north coast, it’s likely to be a little chillier, with temperatures of around 15C and partly overcast skies.

Thursday and Friday are likely to bring with them cooler temperatures, with the hot spell giving way to scattered showers and clouds in many regions over the weekend.

On Saturday, southern regions will see highs up of up to 23C while the northern regions will slip down to 18C during the day.

But anyone planning to be out and about on Saturday evening in the south should bring a warm jacket as the mercury could drop as low as 4C. 

Sunny weather Standbad Lübars

A woman enjoys the warm weather at Standbad Lübars in Berlin. Photo: picture alliance/dpa | Britta Pedersen

Northern regions ‘too dry’ 

Though most people have been thrilled to see a warm burst of sunshine in the middle of spring, climate experts have been voicing concern about the uneven rainfall across the country.

In an analysis published on the DWD website, the meteorologists claimed that the northern and eastern parts of Germany have been “clearly too dry” in the past weeks.

“A first glance at the current map already reveals that the regional differences of April have continued in May,” they wrote. “In almost all regions of the northern half and in some parts of the centre, hardly more than 10 and in many places not even 5 litres of rain per square-metre fell in the first days of May.”

READ ALSO: EXPLAINED: How the climate crisis is hitting Europe hard

Though experts had predicted low rainfall, the first 10 days of May have been even drier than predicted.

The lack of rainfall has caused groundwater to dry up significantly, sparking fears of forest fires and drought over summer.

Though more rainfall could come at the end of May, the Weather Channel’s Jan Schenk believes the probability of an overly dry summer is now “very high”.

Schenk believes that predictions for rainfall could have overestimated the amount of precipitation by up to 50 litres per square metre in some areas. This is a reason for households to start saving water now, he told HNA

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