Summer set to return to Germany with temperatures up to 30C forecast

Summer is slowly but surely returning to Germany after a cool and cloudy start to July.

Summer set to return to Germany with temperatures up to 30C forecast
A pug cools down in Berlin's Lustgarten on June 30th during the heatwave. Photo: DPA

It may feel very unseasonal at the moment, with clouds and temperatures under 20C.

But fear not because summer is set to come back to Germany this week.

According to the German Weather Service (DWD), it is expected to get warmer each day this week with temperatures of up to 30C possible.

However, it is also expected to be quite humid so tropical storms could hit the country along with the rising mercury. 

READ ALSO: Climate crisis: Berlin to be 'as hot as Australia' in 30 years

On Monday, it was slated to be under 20C across the north and northwest of Germany for most of the day. The warmest areas were to said to be in the south around the Upper Rhine and Danube regions where it could rise to the mid 20s.

Rain showers were also forecast for parts of the country. 

The DWD tweeted photos from parts of Germany with the caption: 'Cloudy start to the week'.

In the coming days the picture will improve all over Germany, with south of Germany expected to score the warmest temperatures.

The mercury is expected to reach the late 20s and even 30C from Wednesday onwards. These climbing temperatures will continue into the weekend. 

Thunderstorms cause havoc

At the weekend, thunderstorms and heavy rain wreaked havoc in parts of Germany, including the north and east.

Near Hamburg, a regional train with around 500 passengers became stranded after a thunderstorm caused damage to the overhead line. 

Passengers had to leave the train and were accompanied to a nearby S-Bahn station, said a spokesman for Deutsche Bahn on Saturday evening. There were delays in regional and long-distance traffic.

The DWD is also investigating if a suspected tornado occurred on Friday afternoon during a storm in Bobenheim am Berg and in neighbouring Battenberg in Rhineland-Palatinate. 

READ ALSO: No sign of heatwave return in Germany as cooler weather continues

It comes after last month’s heatwave which saw Germany log a record high June temperature of of 39.6C in Bernburg an der Saale in Saxony-Anhalt on Sunday, June 30th.

Just a few days later on June 4th, a record low July temperature of 2.9C was recorded early in the morning in  Rotenburg (Wümme) in Lower Saxony.


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Reader question: Is it ever too hot to work from home in Germany?

Germany has regulations on working during a heatwave - but does that also apply to people who work remotely? We take a look.

Reader question: Is it ever too hot to work from home in Germany?

The number of people working from home shot up during the Covid pandemic, and though employees no longer have the right to work remotely by law, many have chosen to stick with more flexible arrangements and set up a home office at least part of the week.

This is great news for people who enjoy a lie-in more than a long commute, but there are some downsides. One major issue is that it’s not always clear how Germany’s strict employee protection rules actually apply in a home setting. The rules for working during a heatwave are a good example of this.

How does Germany regulate working in extreme heat? 

By law in Germany, employers are responsible for creating a safe environment for their workers. This means that they should try and keep the temperature below 26C at all times and are legally obliged to take action if the temperature goes above 30C. 

That could include putting blinds on the windows to prevent the glare of the sun, installing air conditioning systems or purchasing fans. In some cases – such as outdoor manual labour – it could also involve starting and finishing earlier in the day. 

And in really high temperatures, employers may simply decide to call the whole thing off and give their employees a ‘hitzefrei’ day – basically a heat-induced day off – to go and cool down in a lake. However, business owners are generally given free rein to decide how hot is too hot in this instance (except in the case of vulnerable workers). 

READ ALSO: Hitzefrei: Is it ever legally too hot to go to work or school in Germany?

Do the heat rules apply to ‘home office?’

Unfortunately not. In most cases in Germany, the company isn’t directly involved in setting up the workspace for an employee that works from home, aside from possibly providing a laptop or phone for remote use. 

“The occupational health and safety regulations regarding room temperature do not apply in this case,” labour law expert Meike Brecklinghaus told German business publication T3N. “This is because the employer does not have direct access to the employee’s workplace and in this respect cannot take remedial action.”

That means that on hot days, it’s the employee’s own responsibility to make sure the environment is suitable for working in. 

woman works from home in Germany

A woman works in her living room at home. Photo: picture alliance/dpa | Daniel Naupold

One duty employers do have, however, is to instruct their workers about the best way to set up a healthy work environment at home, for example by giving guidance on how to regulate the temperature. 

“In the end, it is the employee’s responsibility to maintain his or her workplace in a condition in which he or she can perform his or her work without the threat of health impairments,” Brecklinghaus explained.

What can home office workers do in hot weather?

There are plenty of ways to keep flats cooler in the summer months, including purchasing your own fan, keeping curtains or blinds drawn and ventilating the rooms in the evening or early morning when the weather is cooler.

However, if heat is really becoming a problem, it’s a good idea to communicate this to your employer. This is especially important if you have a health condition that makes it more dangerous to work in hot weather. 

In some cases, you might be able to negotiate for the employer to pay for the purchase of a fan or mobile air conditioner as goodwill gesture. If possible, you could also arrange to travel to the office where the temperature should be better regulated.

Another option for early birds or night owls is to arrange more flexible working hours so you can avoid sweltering at your desk in the midday sun, although this of course depends on operational factors. 

READ ASO: Jobs in Germany: Should foreign workers join a union?