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This spring was the sunniest ever recorded in Germany

This spring was the sunniest ever recorded in Germany

This spring was the sunniest ever recorded in Germany

With summer just around the corner, many countries across Europe have been experiencing a much-appreciated sunny period. In Germany especially, spring 2020 has already broken the record as the sunniest and driest one ever recorded.

An extremely warm and sunny spring

According initial data from the German Weather Service (DWD), some areas of the country saw nearly 800 hours of sunlight between March and May 2020 – together with spring 2011, this is the sunniest spring since records began in 1951. April 2020 alone clocked up approximately 294 hours of sunshine, narrowly surpassing the previous record of 289 hours reached in April 2007. 

With a total of 325 hours of sunshine, Munich was officially the sunniest city in Germany this April. Since March 13, 2020, the Bavarian state capital has had nearly 500 hours of sunshine.

This extremely warm spring, unusual for German weather, began with a mild March followed by an extremely warm April, one of the seven warmest Aprils ever recorded. May was slightly cooler, although it witnessed the highest temperature this spring – 29,4 degrees.

Why the sudden warmth?

The reasons for this uncharacteristically warm spring is likely the result of warm air masses passing over the country.

However, it has also been hypothesised that the decrease in air travel due to coronavirus restrictions might be responsible, with the decrease in condensation trails and particulates allowing more sunlight to shine through. 

What does this mean for the country?

Whatever the reasons may be, this change in weather has its own advantages and disadvantages. For countries located as far north as Germany and Ireland, these copious amounts of sunlight could help fight vitamin D deficiencies that may be connected to greater COVID-19 mortality rates, according to professors at Trinity College Dublin.

However, higher vitamin D levels and warm days spent outside come at a cost. This year, Germany saw one of its six lowest rainfall totals since 1881 with just 108 litres per square metre this spring – a mere 50 percent of its long-term average. 

Thus, for the seventh consecutive year, the country was unable to meet its rainfall target of 186 l / m2. Western and eastern Germany suffered particularly from the persistent drought, with the Thuringian Basin, Lee des Harz and the Western Pomeranian coast being most affected.

Naina Pottamkulam

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Naina Pottamkulam

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