Heavy storms hit western Germany following heat wave

Following the hottest day of the year in Germany, storms are hitting the western part of the country.

Heavy storms hit western Germany following heat wave
Symbol photo shows storms in Bonn, western Germany. Photo: WetterOnline/Shutterstock/DPA

With a peak temperature of 32.9 degrees, Sunday was the hottest day of the year to date in Germany. According to the DWD (German Weather Service), the mercury jumped this high in Geldern-Walbeck, North Rhine-Westphalia, as well as in Lenzen (Elbe) in Brandenburg.

This heat is only expected to increase in eastern Germany, with highs of up to 35 degrees predicted for parts of Brandenburg on Monday. For the rest of the country, the temperature is expected to hover around 22 to 27 degrees.

READ ALSO: Temperatures of 30C predicted in Germany in June

A girl enjoying the warm weather in Brandenburg on Sunday. Photo: DPA

But in the western regions of Germany, DWD warned of heavy thunderstorms with heavy rain, hail and gusts of wind.

On the weather portal, numerous lightning strikes were reported, particularly in the Rhine country, in the Ruhr district and south of Bremen.

Emergency services in Duisburg were deployed five times on Sunday night due to fallen trees. Several cars were damaged, but people were not injured. According to a police spokesman, numerous households in the Kleve district were briefly affected by a presumably storm-related power failure on Sunday evening.

Strong thunderstorms also struck in Düsseldorf, Mönchengladbach, Essen and Münster – according to the local fire brigades, however, these were mild and did not involve major operations.

A car drives through a puddle in Düsseldorf on Sunday. Photo: DPA

DWD meteorologists expected the thunderstorms to move further east during the course of Monday. In a broad strip from Baden-Württemberg to the Baltic Sea, thunderstorms, heavy rain, wind – and even some hail is expected. In Saxony-Anhalt strong heat thunderstorms with heavy rain and hail are possible.

For Baden-Württemberg, a DWD meteorologist predicted 30 to 40 liters of rain per square meter and hail locally. They couldn’t yet say, however, exactly where the thunderstorms will occur.

“There is potential everywhere. The southern and southeastern part of the country will probably be most affected,” said the meteorologist.

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What temperatures can we expect in Germany this week?

Parts of Germany will see another heatwave this week as temperatures soar.

What temperatures can we expect in Germany this week?

The German Weather Service (DWD) has predicted that the mercury will climb in some regions of to around 34C this week. 

“After low pressure ‘Karin’ gave parts of Germany rain, sometimes in large quantities, high pressure ‘Piet’ is now back in pole position,” said meteorologist Lars Kirchhübel of the DWD.

This high pressure zone will dominate the weather in large parts of western and central Europe over the coming days, the weather expert said, adding that it will reach Germany too. 

On Monday temperatures remained fairly cool across the country after a weekend of showers, but they are set to climb over the course of the week, particularly on Wednesday and Thursday. Forecasters predict it could reach 32C in Stuttgart and 33C in Cologne on Thursday. Locally, temperatures could reach 34C. 

However, from the Oder and Neisse rivers to the Erzgebirge mountains and southeast Bavaria, denser clouds and some showers are to be expected. This is due to a high-level low pressure system over the Balkan region, according to forecasters. Short showers are also possible in the Black Forest.

“In most of the rest of the country, high ‘Piet’ will be able to hold its ground,” said Kirchhübel.

READ ALSO: Heavy rain in Bavaria swells rivers, but flooding avoided

At the end of the week, thunderstorms are forecast but temperatures are expected to remain high. 

August in Germany ‘too dry’

According to the European Centre for Medium-Range Weather Forecasts, August as a whole – apart from a few areas in eastern Germany – will be too dry compared to the multi-year average.

The Black Forest, the High Rhine and the Allgäu to the Bavarian Forest, however, are not expected to have any major problems due to the high rainfall of the past few days.

“Looking at Rhineland-Palatinate, the southern half of Hesse, the western half of North Rhine-Westphalia and Lower Franconia shows a different picture,” said Kirchhübel. In the last 30 days, only about 10 percent of the usual level of precipitation fell in some places.

“At some stations, no precipitation at all has been measured in August,” added Kirchhübel, referencing Würzburg as an example.

Rainfall at the weekend caused the water in the Rhine river to rise slightly. In Emmerich, the water level reached a positive value again after the historic low of the past few days: in the morning, it showed three centimetres – an increase of six centimetres compared to the previous day.

The water level also rose by several centimetres at the other measuring points in North Rhine-Westphalia: in Cologne, the level rose to 80cm and in Düsseldorf to 38cm.

READ ALSO: Damaged freighter blocks traffic at drought-hit Rhine

Despite this encouraging trend, the Waterways and Shipping Authority said it did not expect a huge improvement in water levels in the foreseeable future due to more hot weather coming.