Arctic outbreak: Wintry weather to continue across Germany this weekend

Arctic outbreak: Wintry weather to continue across Germany this weekend

After an initially mild December, many parts of Germany have been hit by freezing temperatures, snow and ice this January. Forecasters are saying that this weekend will probably bring more extreme weather conditions, as a so-called “Arctic Outbreak” sweeps across the country. 

Extreme weather causes accidents and delays across Germany

The onset of Storm Dimitrious was responsible for some major problems this week, as heavy snowfall, icy roads and fallen trees caused train cancellations, traffic accidents, road closures and delays. In the Black Forest, a driver had to be taken to hospital after their car rolled over, while in Upper Bavaria, a man was fatally injured in a serious accident involving three trucks.

Further north in Lower Saxony, a section of the motorway was closed to traffic after black ice caused several accidents, and across southern and western Germany there were numerous traffic accidents due to broken vehicles. At least one person lost their life and several more were seriously injured.

An 18-year-old man in Mecklenburg-Vorpommern lost his life after his car slipped off the road and collided into a tree. Police in Schleswig-Holstein reported more than 50 crashes between Tuesday evening and Wednesday morning. 

New snowfall expected on Saturday night

This extreme weather is expected to ease off slightly on Saturday, when forecasters say it will be sunny and cold across the country. By Saturday night, however, things will go up a gear once again, as new snowfall arrives from the west, “affecting the centre and south by Sunday evening,” the German Weather Service (DWD) predicted. 

Cold air, coming partly from the Arctic and partly from the direction of Siberia, will ensure for bitterly cold nights. In some places, the temperature will dip to double-digit minus degrees. This creates the perfect conditions for snow across the entire country - a pretty rare occurrence!

Snow turns to drizzle in western Germany

Not that it will last very long in some parts of the country. The Alps and other higher regions can expect long-lasting snowfall, but rising temperatures in the northwest and west mean that any snow that does fall will soon melt away. Minimum temperatures in the western half of the country will hover between 0 and -5 degrees, while the east and southeast will be a lot chillier, with lows between -6 and -12 degrees. Brrr! 

These temperature disparities mean that the two halves of the country will experience very different weather on Monday and into Tuesday: in the east and southeast, precipitation will continue to fall as snow, particularly on higher ground, whereas in the west regions below 600 metres will probably just have a lot of rain. The night into Tuesday will be drizzly with isolated patches of snow. 

Even if you are blessed with a thick blanketing of snow, remember that people in Germany are being urged not to go on day trips to go skiing or tobogganing. In parts of the country, car parks and access roads will remain closed over the weekend to discourage people from using ski and toboggan slopes. The cold and icy weather also makes for particularly treacherous driving conditions - best to stay put and enjoy the weather in your local area! 



Abi Carter

Abi studied History & German at the University of Manchester. She has since worked as a writer, editor and content marketeer, but still has a soft spot for museums, castles...

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