Germany’s first ‘autumn storm’ of 2020 causes chaos around country

Following a sizzling heatwave just a week before, the chilly storm front "Kirsten" caused injuries and traffic delays around Germany on Wednesday.

Germany's first 'autumn storm' of 2020 causes chaos around country
Heaters at a restaurant in Düsseldorf are knocked over in the windy weather. Photo: DPA

Some roads and railroad lines had to be closed, and a number of people were injured by falling branches and trees. 

Since the trees are currently still full of leaves, they offer the wind a large area of attack, the German Weather Service (DWD) said about the “first autumn storm of the year”. Gusts of wind as high as 89 kilometres per hour were reported, especially in mountainous regions. 

READ ALSO: 10 essential phrases to complain about the weather like a German

Yet the storm had largely faded by the late afternoon: In Berlin temperatures hovered around 18C as light rain continued to fall, 20C in Cologne, 23C in Frankfurt and 27C in sunny Munich

The weather followed a heatwave earlier in the month, in which parts of Germany saw temperatures as high as 38C.

Train delays and car accidents

There was serious damage and disruption to the train network, roads and communities.

In North Rhine-Westphalia, fallen trees caused railroad line closures near Cologne, Ennepetal and Dortmund in the morning. 

Fallen trees in Mülheim, North Rhine-Westphalia. Photo: DPA

Near Dortmund-Aplerbeck, around 100 passengers had to leave a regional express train because it could not continue its journey with a fallen tree lying on the track.

In Bavaria, Deutsche Bahn also closed a line between Fürth and Zirndorf in Middle Franconia for about an hour in the morning because a fallen tree blocked the tracks. Between Roth and Schwabach, regional trains stopped running around noon.

In Hünxe in the Lower Rhine region of North Rhine-Westphalia, a car driver suffered minor injuries when a tree fell on her hood. In Kleve, according to the police, a motorcyclist was injured by a falling branch. On Autobahn 44, a truck overturned on the freeway, and the route towards Aachen was closed.

Due to the increased danger of falling trees, the zoo in Wuppertal and parks in Cologne and Düsseldorf, among others, remained closed for safety reasons. In Erfurt, the city closed the main cemetery and the local cemeteries as a precaution. 

One tree had already fallen in one of the cemeteries, the city's garden and cemetery office said in the morning. Open spaces and the Tiergarten were also closed in Hanover.

A woman's hair blows in the strong wind in Frankfurt on Wednesday. Photo: DPA

Smooth sailing

Yet northern Germany was not hit as hard as expected, with few fallen trees. Despite the wind, large ferries on the North Sea coast initially set sail without restrictions to the East Frisian Islands. 

“We are sailing according to plan. We can get close to a [highest level] storm force ten, but that's nothing we are not used to,” said Fred Meyer, spokesman for the shipping company Norden-Frisia, which offers trips to Norderney and Juist. 

On Thursday the weather in Germany should calm down after the first autumnal storms. Temperatures between 17 and 21C are expected in the northern half of Germany, with occasional showers. 

Towards the south it will remain dry and mostly pleasant and sunny, with temperatures of up to 25C. 

On Friday the weather front “Lynn” will bring changeable weather to Germany, but with much less wind.

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Snow and highs of 20C: Germany set for ‘rollercoaster’ weather before Easter

From snowstorms to dazzling sunshine, the famously changeable spring weather is set to hit Germany in the run-up to the Easter holidays.

Snow and highs of 20C: Germany set for 'rollercoaster' weather before Easter

Though winter is well behind us, you may well find yourself reaching for your snow jacket once more as Germany is set for some pretty erratic weather over the coming days.

Snow and hailstorms have set in everywhere from the northern coast to the Bavarian Alps, and this blast of cold is likely to endure in the week ahead, according to weather experts.

“The current Easter forecasts point to new cold air from Palm Sunday and this cold air could then even more or less hold its own until Easter Sunday,” meteorologist Dominik Jung told Bild. 

But in true April style, there will also be bouts of warm sunshine in between the cold spells, he added.

“Again and again, forecasts are also appearing that show 20C and more at Easter.”

Generally, German meteorological models don’t predict this far in the future, so the US model is currently being used to predict whether we’ll be in jackets or shorts over the Easter break.

So far, the German Weather Service (DWD) has predicted that rain showers, clouds and chilly temperatures will be the main feature of the week ahead, with snow hitting the northeastern and higher-altitude regions over the weekend. 

Schwangau in snow

The castle of Schwangau in Bavaria was covered in snow on Monday. Photo: picture alliance/dpa | Karl-Josef Hildenbrand

However, DWD also forecasts temperatures of up to 17 or 19C in some parts of the country. 

“It is the eternal battle between the remaining wintry cold air and the summer air masses that are now pushing into Europe,” said Jung. “This has been going on for weeks now and this back and forth will probably continue until Easter.”

READ ALSO: 7 unmissable events taking place across Germany in April

Here’s what to expect over the coming days:

Tuesday: Snow in the Alps and eastern mountains, scattered clouds and sunshine in the southwest and northeast, heavy winds in the north. Temperatures between 3C and 12C. 

Wednesday: Overcast skies, light breeze and sunny spells with occasional rainshowers. Heavy winds in mountain regions. Temperatures between 7C and 18C.

Thursday: Heavy clouds, rainstorms and thunder and lightning in some regions in the morning, making way for clearer skies in the afternoon and evening. Fresh southwesterly wind with mild temperatures of 10 to 19C. 

Friday: A mixture of sun and clouds and scattered rain throughout the day, mild temperatures and occasional thunderstorms in southern regions. Temperatures between 9C and 19C. 

Saturday: Stormy winds and chilly temperatures, accompanied by scattered rainstorms and heavy clouds. Temperatures of 5C to 9C in the northern regions and 9C to 14C elsewhere. 

Palm Sunday: Clearer skies and mostly dry weather northeastern regions, overcast skies and scattered showers elsewhere. Temperatures of 4C to 8C in the north and northern and 7C to 12C in other parts of the country. 

Monday: Southern regions to see more cloudy skies, isolated showers and occasional snowfall, while northern regions will enjoy clear skies and sunshine. Temperatures between 4C and 11C.