Major disruption as storm Sabine rages through Germany

Major disruption as storm Sabine rages through Germany

Major disruption as storm Sabine rages through Germany

Hurricane-force winds and heavy rains have cancelled trains, grounded flights and shut down schools as storm Sabine (AKA storm Ciara) continues to rage through Germany. While the storm was largely over in northern Germany by Monday morning, weather authorities have warned that it is still coming for the South. 

Storm Sabine ensures travel chaos across Germany

As Sabine began to blow in earnest on Sunday night, Deutsche Bahn made the decision to temporarily suspend long-distance train services from 6 pm onwards. Service gradually resumed from 10 am on Monday morning (everywhere except Bavaria and Baden-Württemberg), but disruption is expected to last until the end of the day. 

DB issued a statement recommending that passengers “postpone long-distance journeys planned for Monday, February 10, and Tuesday, February 11, to another day.” Any tickets purchased for travelling on Sunday, Monday or Tuesday will remain valid for other services up until Tuesday, February 18. For more information on the current situation, see the DB website

Regional rail traffic and flights cancelled

The storm also forced the suspension of regional rail traffic in many regions of Germany, with the S-Bahn in Munich largely coming to a standstill. All regional trains in Hesse, Rhineland-Palatinate and Saarland were cancelled on Monday morning, but are slowly resuming. 

Multiple airports have also been forced to cancel hundreds of flights, with passengers travelling through Frankfurt, Berlin, Munich, Cologne and Hannover worst affected. As of 8.30 am on Monday morning, Munich Airport had cancelled 420 flights as a precaution and, at North Rhine-Westphalia’s two largest airports, Düsseldorf and Cologne, more than 150 flights have already been cancelled.

Schools closed and emergency services in demand

And it’s not just transportation that is being brought to a standstill by the storm - many families in Germany are also facing disruption after hundreds of schools in North Rhine-Westphalia, Bavaria, Hesse, Lower Saxony and Bremen were closed. 

Sabine also kept the German emergency services busy all night, with police reporting multiple cases of damage and injuries caused by falling trees and flying objects. In Hamburg, the fire brigade was called out no fewer than 300 times on Sunday after trees toppled onto houses, cars and people.

In one terrifying incident in Mülheim an der Ruhr in North Rhine-Westphalia, a 25-metre tree crashed into a moving car. Luckily, there have been no serious injuries.  

Storm Sabine will hit South Germany on Monday afternoon

Sabine (also known as Ciara in other parts of Europe) is expected to continue raging into the latter half of Monday. While southern Germany will be the hardest-hit, other regions still fall into the storm’s path and can expect their fair share of strong winds, thunderstorms and heavy rain. 

The DWD has issued its second-highest weather warning level for the entire southern half of Germany, while the highest level 4 warning applies to Baden-Württemberg and Bavaria. More extreme weather is expected in these regions before the storm blows itself out. You can check the DWD website for the latest weather warnings.  

“The cold front is currently moving from Saarland via southern Hesse to Thuringia and Berlin,” the DWD said early on Monday. They are forecasting individual gusts of wind reaching hurricane forces of up to 120 kilometres per hour at low altitude. In mountainous regions, gale-force winds of over 140 kilometres per hour are possible. 



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...

Read more



Leave a comment