Surprise snowy weather comes to Germany but spring on the way

Despite Saturday marking the first day of spring, Germany is currently caught between an area of high pressure over the UK and a low pressure in Scandinavia, which is leading to polar air flowing down across the country.

Surprise snowy weather comes to Germany but spring on the way
A jogger in a Berlin park on Friday. photo: dpa | Kay Nietfeld

The German Weather Service (DWD) has forecast snow and sleet across eastern and southern Germany through Friday and much of Saturday.

Temperatures were forecast to drop to as low as -10C in southeast Germany on Friday evening.

“Even though tomorrow marks the beginning of spring, winter does not yet want to hand over the sceptre,” observed Markus Übel of the DWD.

In the Erzgebirge, a mountain range in eastern Germany, a further few centimetres of snow are forecast to fall on Friday on top of the 75 centimetres of snow still covering the range’s highest mountain, the Fichtelberg.

In the Bavarian Alps and the Black Forest, the persistent cold weather means that a metre of snow still lies in the higher terrains.

Saturday will see an improvement in the weather through much of the country in the morning before more rain clouds march in from the north.

“The temperatures won’t really wake from their slumber though, and will insist on remaining at a late-winter 1C to 8C, while in the southern foothills of the Alps and at higher altitudes there will be constant frost,” said Übel.

But Sunday is set to bring the first hint of spring, as the high system slowly moves into the west of the country.

Temperatures will rise to 10C even as showers and cold winds are to be expected.

Sunday will stay cold in the southeast though, with rain predicted for lower regions and snowfall on higher ground.

Throughout the coming week, the weather is expected to improve as a high pressure system spreads across the whole country, and temperatures will rise into the double digits by the end of the week.

“This will put an end to the unsettled weather and bring more sunshine,” said Übel. “In addition, the cold air passage from the north will be cut off, meaning spring will finally arrive – albeit somewhat late and still rather hesitantly.”

SEE ALSO: Germany sees temperature rise of record 41.9C in one week

Member comments

  1. Ugh, after that winter storm here in Texas I never want to see any more snow again; we got dumped with a winter wasteland than a wonderland…

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‘Heat February’ likely to follow Germany’s warmest January on record so far

After seeing the hottest January so far since records began, meteorologists in Germany are now predicting a warmer-than-usual February, which could bring about problems for winter sports resorts.

‘Heat February’ likely to follow Germany’s warmest January on record so far

Germany is getting hotter. Every decade since the sixties has been warmer than the previous one and the pace is continuing to increase, the German Weather Service (DWD) said in its final climate assessment for the past year released on Monday.

“We are now experiencing hot spells and intensities that we would actually not have expected from climate models for a few decades,” said Andreas Becker, head of the DWD’s climate monitoring department.

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

“Since the year 1881, we now have an increase in the annual mean temperature in Germany of 1.7 C,” Becker said. He added that this increase can only be explained by man-made climate change.

The first half of January – usually considered to be the height of winter – was warmer than ever before this year, at 8.2 C above average. 

But while temperatures are expected to sink and bring some frost and snowfall later this week, meteorologist Dominik Jung from, has said that there is no real prospect of a severe cold spell or a deep onset of winter. Meteorologist Alban Burster from, meanwhile, said that he expects January to remain mainly foggy and wet.

Looking ahead to February, it seems likely that there will be no change in the warming trend. Meteorologist Jung said that he expects the second month of 2023 to be “almost a kind of ‘heat’ February” – at an average of two to three degrees warmer than the climate average.

Good news for some

For the winter sports season, the warm temperatures are  “a disaster”, Jung said.

READ ALSO: How heatwaves in Germany have led to thousands of deaths

The meagre snowfall is bad news for sports enthusiasts and ski lift operators, many of which have had to resort to using artificial snow – at a significant cost. 

However, for those hoping to save on their home heating bills, the warm winter months, for now, are good news.