Snowstorms in the north, 15C in the south: Strange weather coming to Germany

Snowstorms in the north, 15C in the south: Strange weather coming to Germany

Germany is heading into some very strange weather this weekend, with meteorologists forecasting wildly different conditions in the northern and southern halves of the country. While large amounts of snowfall and lows of up to -20 degrees are expected in the north, the southern federal states can look forward to mild temperatures and even some sun. 

Extreme weather conditions this weekend in Germany

The weather situation will very much be a tale of two halves in Germany this weekend, as a bank of icy polar air collides with a mild spring weather front, causing an “air mass boundary” and some pretty extreme weather conditions. The temperature difference between Berlin, Hamburg and Munich could be as much as 20 degrees. “This only happens a few times in the life of a meteorologist,” said Andreas Friedrich, a spokesperson for the German Weather Service (DWD). 

It’s not unusual for cold polar air to flow over Europe during winter, but what makes this situation so rare is that it’s moving further south than would normally be expected. This means that in northern Germany temperatures could dip as low as -10 degrees on Saturday and -12 on Sunday, bringing the risk of snowfall and black ice. 

At the same time, however, a bank of mild and very humid air is flowing in from the Sahara region, bringing with it higher temperatures and rain showers. In the southern and southwestern parts of the country, the temperature could rise to a balmy 15 degrees on Saturday and 10 degrees on Sunday. 

Heavy snowfall where two weather fronts collide

Where these two weather fronts collide, extreme weather conditions are very likely, with forecasters predicting up to 30 centimetres of fresh snowfall, freezing rain and black ice. Northern North Rhine-Westphalia, northern Hesse, Thuringia, southern Saxony and Saxony-Anhalt all lie along this border region, as the tweet from DWD below shows:

Driving could quickly become very dangerous. Some areas could even experience a rare phenomenon known as “blood snow” - red-coloured snow that is formed where winter air mixes with grains of sand from the Sahara. 

Heavy winds are also expected in the north from Sunday, with some hurricane-speed gusts and snowstorms raising the possibility of power outages. According to the DWD, Lower Saxony and Bremen are likely to be hardest hit. Heavy snowfall is also expected in Hamburg, Schleswig-Holstein and Mecklenburg-Vorpommern, but not as severe as in regions south of the Elbe. 

While meteorologists are still unsure about exactly where the snow will fall, they are united on one thing: it’s going to get cold in the north, and stay like that for some time. Permafrost, freezing rain and snow are all on the cards for the beginning of next week. Winter’s not over yet!



Abi Carter

Managing Editor at IamExpat Media. Abi studied German and History at the University of Manchester and has since lived in Berlin, Hamburg and Utrecht, working since 2017 as a writer,...

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