Germany to see temperatures up to 20C after winter freeze

Just a few days ago there was tons of snow and frozen lakes. But this weekend spring-like weather is expected in most of the country.

Germany to see temperatures up to 20C after winter freeze
People enjoying the sunshine at Langenargen Am Bodensee in Baden-Württemberg on February 17th. Photo: DPA

But police union bosses say they are worried people won't follow coronavirus rules in the sunshine.

Temperatures across Germany reached over 10C on Friday. The mercury is expected to climb higher on Saturday although there could be some showers, and it will remain chilly in some places, including the northeast.

The warmest areas will be in the west and on the northern edge of the low mountain ranges, with light to moderate winds.

READ ALSO: Germany embraces cold snap amid warnings over icy waterways

On Sunday highs of 19C are expected in Cologne – and the mercury could even hit 20C in some parts of the west locally. Temperatures of around 18C are expected in Hanover and Münster, while forecasters predict 16C for Frankfurt and 15C in Berlin.

On Sunday the southeast around Munich could be a big cooler with about 10C.

The German Weather Service (DWD) tweeted to say the spring-like weather comes after last week's winter weekend. Although it is still expected to be frosty overnight – so don't forget to wrap if you are spending time outside.

The arctic temperatures in recent weeks- which saw lows of 26.7C at one point – were brought to the region by the polar vortex split.

But a new weather front has arrived, bringing with it mild temperatures for the coming days.

READ ALSO: Why Germany is facing extreme winter weather this month

The spring-like weather is caused by a high pressure area dubbed “Ilonka”, which is moving in from North Africa, said forecaster Adrian Schmidt of Meteogroup.

Despite the February sun which can be strong, bathing in lakes is not yet the order of the day. “The lakes have to thaw out first,” said Schmidt – and they will still be extremely cold.

The weather will cool down towards the end of next week in Germany – although hopefully not to the levels we saw earlier this month. 

Police boss urges people to stick to rules

The spring-like forecast is causing some concern.

The German Police Union (DPolG) expects more people to break coronavirus contact rules because of the mild temperatures.

Currently a household is allowed to meet with one other person.

The nice weather could tempt people to become careless, said chairman Rainer Wendt. “Sun rays are not a Corona vaccine – some people forget that.”

He urged residents to observe distance rules and contact restrictions, and said police would take action against anyone found to be violating the rules.

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Euro 2024 fan zones closed in western Germany as storm warnings issued

Forecasters have warned of extreme thunderstorms in parts of Germany on Tuesday, resulting in upcoming fan events for Euro 2024 being cancelled.

Euro 2024 fan zones closed in western Germany as storm warnings issued

The German Weather Service (DWD) said it expects thunderstorms, hailstones and gale force winds in the west and centre of Germany on Tuesday, moving eastwards later in the day. 

Fan areas for the UEFA European Football Championship will remain closed in several cities in North Rhine-Westphalia, including Cologne and Düsseldorf.

Forecasters said heavy thunderstorms will develop from late morning, while storms are also expected in the east towards the evening.

Locally, large hailstones, strong gusts of winds and rainfall up to 30 litres per square metre are expected.

According to meteorologists, isolated tornadoes cannot be ruled out in the west and centre of the country.

Although northern regions are not affected by the thunderstorms, heavy rain is forecast in the north and north-west of Germany. The DWD said from Tuesday morning, rainfall between 20 and 35 litres per square metre is possible within a few hours.


Cities close fan zones

Football fans in North Rhine-Westphalia will have to look for other places to watch the Euro matches on Tuesday or watch them at home because the fan zones in several cities will remain closed due to the risk of bad weather.

This affects the fan zones in Düsseldorf, Cologne and Gelsenkirchen as well as Dortmund, where Turkey’s match against Georgia kicks off at 6 pm.

Up to 80,000 Turkish supporters are expected to descend on Dortmund, with many planning to gather in fan areas before the match.

However, the “meeting points” planned with the fan associations of both nations have been cancelled, according to the city.

“Dortmund was really looking forward to and preparing for a big fan party with tens of thousands of Turkish and Georgian fans in the city,” said Martin Sauer, the city’s representative for the European Championships. However, he said the safety of the fans has priority.

In the second match of the day, Portugal and the Czech Republic will meet in Leipzig at 9 pm.  A severe thunderstorm warning is also in place here from 6 pm – but there were no reports of closures early on Tuesday. 

Meanwhile, many Scottish and Swiss fans will be travelling to Cologne on Tuesday ahead of their match on Wednesday at 9pm. Although some showers are forecast, fans will be hoping that the worst of the storms have passed by then. 

IN PICTURES: Football fans take over German cities for Euro 2024