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.

A man clears snow in Straubing, Bavaria.
A man clears snow in Straubing, Bavaria. Photo: picture alliance/dpa | Armin Weigel

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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Germany gets a blast of Spring as temperatures top 20 C

Following a weekend of wintry weather in many parts of the country, temperatures climbed as high as 21 C in the Upper Rhine area of Germany on Monday.

Germany gets a blast of Spring as temperatures top 20 C

April is usually the month most known for large temperature fluctuations and unpredictable conditions. Now, however, it seems that March may have taken this spot in Germany.

That’s because, while parts of the north of the country saw snow and ice over the weekend, on Monday, sunshine and Spring temperatures appeared in the south as temperatures shot up to the mid-teens. In the Upper Rhine, the mercury even rose as high as 21 C.

The temperature rose in many northern areas too on Monday, as Berlin reached 16 C and Hamburg 14 C. 

According to climatologist Dr. Karsten Brandt of, the current heat wave has come up from Spain “with a strong southwest current over France” to reach Germany.

READ ALSO: Current winter in Germany ‘2.7 C too warm’

However, Monday’s pleasant temperatures could be followed by some stormy weather on Tuesday, particularly in Bavaria and the coastal regions of the North Sea and the Baltic Sea.

Meteorologist Dominik Jung from said that a “line of thunderstorms coming from France” could lead to heavy thunderstorms and that there is even an “increased risk of tornadoes”.

After the turbulent spell at the beginning of the week, Jung expects the temperatures to drop again and for wintry conditions to return.

“It starts all over again, the cold air masses stream into Germany, the whole thing is associated with really a lot of wind,” said Jung.

According to Guido Wolz of the German Weather Service, it’s not so unusual to experience a rapid change in weather in March.  “Currently, the weather situation is quite lively. But we must not forget that we are in the middle of a westerly wind zone in Central Europe,” he said. 

When do strong temperature differences in spring harm the natural world?

Wolfgang Kurtz, head of the DWD’s agrometeorological research centre in Freising, is not so concerned about the current, short-term temperature rises. “But if there are several days in a row at this time of year when such high-pressure conditions prevail, it can certainly disrupt the dormancy of vegetation – and give plants and insects the impetus to get going,” he said.

READ ALSO: More floods, droughts and heatwaves: How climate change will impact Germany

According to Kurtz, however, such sharp temperature fluctuations are not devastating until later in the spring, when, at around the end of April to mid-May, late frosts can severely damage crops by causing blossoms to die.