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"Acute danger to life": Snow chaos in Germany – one region hit particularly hard


Highlights: Winter has arrived in numerous regions in Germany, and the situation continues to worsen in the south of Hesse. At least two people died in black ice accidents. In the Rheingau-Taunus district, numerous people were stuck in their cars. In Wiesbaden, 55 people, including 27 children, had to spend the night in a school. In North Rhine-Westphalia, too, there were numerous firefighting operations. In Berlin and Brandenburg, snow and slippery conditions remain for the time being.

Status: 28.11.2023, 19:18 PM

By: Michelle Brey

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Winter has arrived in numerous regions in Germany, and the situation continues to worsen in the south of Hesse. Numerous motorists were stranded on Monday.

Update from November 28, 11:23 a.m.: Due to the severe onset of winter in the Rhine-Main area, numerous flights have been cancelled at Frankfurt Airport. On Monday, 161 take-offs and landings out of a total of 1031 planned flight connections were cancelled, as the airport operator Fraport announced on Tuesday on request.

Due to the heavy snowfall, the runways at Germany's largest airport had to be cleared. In addition, numerous aircraft would have had to be de-iced, which is part of the normal procedure in such weather conditions and how the evacuation leads to delays in flight operations, as a spokesman explained.

November 28 Update: Winter has arrived in numerous regions in Germany, and several federal states have been hit hard by the onset of winter. At least two people died in black ice accidents. In the Rheingau-Taunus district, numerous people were stuck in their cars. The district administrator advises people to stay at home at all costs.

In the district of Schwäbisch Hall in Baden-Württemberg, a 71-year-old man died on Monday in a head-on collision on a snow-slick road. A 54-year-old female driver died in a black ice accident near Denzerheide in Rhineland-Palatinate. An end to the onset of winter is not yet in sight, in many parts of Germany it will continue on Tuesday with snow and sleet. This was predicted by the German Weather Service.

In North Rhine-Westphalia, too, there were numerous firefighting operations. © Kai Osthoff/dpa

Winter in Germany: Situation in the Rheingau-Taunus district is coming to a head

In many parts of Hesse, accidents occurred with minor injuries and a lot of property damage. Trees fell due to the weight of the snow. In the Rheingau-Taunus district, the situation came to a head: According to the fire brigade, numerous motorists were stuck in their vehicles. About 100 people had to be rescued from their cars near Eltville because of falling trees. Initially, they were housed in a hall. In the evening, 20 to 25 people were accommodated in hotels.

The district administrator in the Rheingau-Taunus district, Sandro Zehner (CDU), called for people to stay at home, according to a statement: "My urgent appeal: Stay at home on Tuesday. Please do not take walks in the forest: there is an acute danger to life due to broken branches and falling trees." According to the DWD, the amount of precipitation in Hesse decreased during the night. "But the real problems are caused by the trees, which threaten to fall under the weight of the snow," said a DWD meteorologist.

In Wiesbaden, 55 people, including 27 children, had to spend the night in a school. The fire department set up accommodation in the school building, as school buses were no longer running due to the weather conditions, according to a spokesman for the fire department. In a comprehensive school in Bad Schwalbach, 30 students and teachers were temporarily stranded. They were treated but were able to be brought home by the fire brigade late Monday evening. In Bavaria, the winter service was in continuous operation due to the snow.

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DWD forecast for Germany: "Winter is here"

A meteorologist from the DWD stated on Tuesday morning: "Winter is here" - in large parts of the country, the current low is causing snowfall from the west to the east to the south. "The coming days will be cold and a maximum of slight plus temperatures are to be expected during the day. The nights are frosty and snowfall, sleet and freezing wetness are to be expected again and again," said the meteorologist. "Snow and slippery conditions remain." In Berlin and Brandenburg, for example, a snow cover of up to five centimetres can remain for the time being, while in Brandenburg ten centimetres of snow are possible.

First reported on 27 November: Munich – Winter weather has arrived in Germany. And with full force. Snow and slippery roads led to accidents with injuries on several roads nationwide at the end of the weekend (26 November). However, an end to the snowfall is not in sight for the time being. A meteorologist recently even warned of the "coldest phase since 2010".

Weather in Germany: Snow causes chaos – injuries in icy accidents

Snow, ice, slippery roads and mud made the roads in Germany a danger at the weekend. Caution was advised. There were a few accidents. For example, a 72-year-old driver was seriously injured in Plauen, Saxony. He went off the road due to the wintry road conditions and rolled over with his car.

Five young vehicle occupants were also injured, some of them seriously, in a traffic accident on a snow-covered road near Schotten in central Hesse. They crashed into a tree after going off the road. On the Autobahn 4 near Eisenach (Thuringia), a family's car skidded and overturned. The occupants suffered minor injuries. The police were also on duty on the A95 due to the snowfall.

Winter has also arrived in Baden-Württemberg. There is snow in many places. © Philipp von Ditfurth/dpa

Winter chaos in Germany not yet over: fresh snow in sight

"Above 200, 300 meters, it can get really white," said weather expert Dominik Jung in his video forecast. Together with a "strong wind", snow drifts are said to be possible. The weather models agree on one point: snow will continue to fall in Germany on Tuesday (28 November). With regard to the quantities, however, the models disagree, as the meteorologist explained with regard to the weather maps. At higher altitudes, the following amounts of snow are expected to occur:

German Weather Model:Between ten and 15 centimetres of fresh snow
American Weather Model:20 to 30 centimetres of fresh snow in some places
European Weather Model:40 to 45 centimetres of fresh snow

"We'll have to wait and see," Jung concluded. The European weather model repeatedly forecasts large amounts of snow. "Often these amounts of snow are relatively exaggerated," he added.

"Low pressure area" over Germany: DWD warns of slippery conditions

Responsible for the weather is a low-pressure area that will move from the Benelux over the middle of the country until Tuesday, the German Weather Service (DWD) informed. "In the southern half, mild air is temporarily brought in, while cold air masses are already in the north. In the course of Tuesday, the polar cold air will increasingly prevail in the south as well," the experts said.

In the morning hours on Monday, "partly heavy precipitation" is expected to shape the weather. These would reach the center of Germany by noon and advance to the east in the course of the afternoon. Over the central parts of the country, the precipitation is expected to turn into snow down to low altitudes. The DWD warns of slippery roads in places. The snow line is expected to rise to 600 to 800 meters in the west on Monday afternoon, and temporarily to 800 to 1000 meters in the south.

Frost, slippery, fresh snow: The weather on Tuesday will be wintry again

For Tuesday, the DWD forecast is:

  • At night, there will be persistent snowfall down to low altitudes: from the centre to the east and as far as northeastern Bavaria.
  • The snow line is expected to remain high in the south. Significant fresh snow is only expected at high altitudes.
  • In the north and northeast, shower roads are possible.
  • In general, there is a risk of frost and icy roads. Exceptions to this are the northwest and low-lying areas in the west and south of Germany.
  • In the mountains, on the North Sea and along the Schleswig-Holstein Baltic Sea coast, the wind is said to shape the weather. Squalls may occur.

However, it is not only wintery in Germany. There was also an onset of winter in Italy. Cold from the north brought sub-zero temperatures. Austria is also partly covered in snow. (mbr)

Source: merkur

All news articles on 2023-11-28

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