Heavy snow paralyses parts of southern Germany

Heavy snowfall brought chaos to parts of southern Germany on Saturday, with air and rail traffic blocked in the Bavarian state capital of Munich.

Heavy snow paralyses parts of southern Germany
A display reading "Stadium is closed" is seen in Munich on December 2nd 2023. Photo: Alexandra Beier/AFP.

After first suspending flights until noon Saturday (1100 GMT), Munich airport later said it would remain closed until 6:00 am (0500 GMT) on Sunday. In total, 760 flights were affected, a spokesperson told AFP.

More than 40 centimetres (16 inches) of snow fell overnight Friday to Saturday, according to weather services. Authorities asked residents to stay home for their safety.

The winter weather also disrupted train traffic, with rail operator Deutsche Bahn saying “The main Munich station cannot be served”. Deutsche Bahn said travellers should expect delays and cancellations throughout the region, and most buses, trams and suburban trains were not running in Munich.

Saturday’s planned football championship match between Bayern Munich and Union Berlin has been called off.

Police in Lower Bavaria said they made 350 interventions linked to the weather Friday night, with five people slightly injured in car accidents.   

Much of Germany has been subject to snow and freezing temperatures for several days.

According to weather forecasts, the largest quantities of snow are expected Saturday in Allgau in the south of Bavaria, with another 30 to 40 centimetres. The snowfall is expected to progressively ease in the afternoon.

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Germany hit by storms and high winds

After a night of thunderstorms and high winds that knocked down trees and delayed trains, wind warnings are still in place in much of Germany on Tuesday. The coming days are expected to bring cool temperatures and scattered showers.

Germany hit by storms and high winds

The German Weather Service (DWD) is maintaining wind warnings across much of Germany on Tuesday following severe wind and rain storms that started Monday night.

Wind speeds are most intense in the south. Around Munich, the DWD predicts wind speeds around 65 kilometres per hour and gusts of up to 80 kilometres per hour can be expected in exposed locations, along with showers.

In the middle of the country the weather is similar with slightly less intense winds predicted. In Düsseldorf, winds up to around 55 kilometres per hour are predicted.

In the northern regions, no serious weather warnings are in effect.

Showers are also expected across much of the southern, western and northern regions in Germany on Tuesday. In the middle and eastern regions, such as around Erfurt or Dresden, skies are partly cloudy.

In the Upper Harz region, snow fell on Monday night and Tuesday morning. Unusually cold weather is expected to continue there through the weekend.

Looking forward, scattered showers will continue on Wednesday, but the sun can be expected to peek through across much of the country. Northern and eastern cities like Berlin and Hamburg can expect a bit more sun tomorrow, whereas cities in the south can expect a bit more rain.

A mix of sun and scattered showers can be expected to extend through Friday and Saturday, with high temperatures around 12C each day and low temperatures between 2C and 5C at night.

House with wrecked roof

The flat roof of an apartment building in Hesse was damaged by severe winds on Monday night. PHOTO: picture alliance/dpa/5VISION.NEWS | 5VISION.NEWS

Severe storms left trail of destruction

Thunderstorms, strong winds and widespread storms on Monday evening left carnage across Germany. 

Some train passengers experienced delays of four hours on while a number of routes were closed.

On Tuesday morning there are only major delays between Nuremberg and Erfurt, a railway spokesman said.

Tees and branches knocked down by severe gusts of wind caused a series of injuries and traffic disruption.

In Hesse, a motorist and her passenger were injured in a collision with a tree that had fallen due to the storm.The accident occurred on Monday evening in the city of Alsfeld. Both occupants of the car were slightly injured, the 20-year-old was taken to a hospital.

In Bottrop (North Rhine-Westphalia), a 19-year-old pedestrian was injured on her way home from work after a tree suddenly fell onto the sidewalk. The young woman’s legs were trapped under the tree trunk, according to the fire department. In Hattingen in the Ruhr area, a man was injured by a tree falling into a garden.

In Cologne, a city bus was damaged by a fallen tree. The driver was slightly injured and taken to hospital, the fire department said in the evening. Several fallen trees and bent branches hindered traffic in the city.

In Bavaria, three people in a car suffered serious injuries in an accident on the A9.

In Rhineland-Palatinate, the Koblenz police headquarters reported 10 cars in its region that had been damaged by falling trees or other objects. Electricity and telephone lines were also damaged by falling trees. In Ludwigshafen in the Palatinate, trees fell on roads and power lines. Loose roof tiles and fallen construction fences also triggered fire brigade operations.

With reporting by DPA