Status: 29.11.2023, 15:58 PM
Snow cannons are in operation when the sun is shining. © Bernd Thissen/dpa
Snow shoveling, salt spreading, sledding: In many regions of North Rhine-Westphalia, it's really wintery. This caused problems in rush hour traffic - and (anticipation) among winter sports enthusiasts.
Bielefeld/Winterberg - Dangerously slippery roads, happy children in the snow - and in the Sauerland the ski season starts earlier than it has for a long time. With frosty temperatures, there was another onset of winter in large parts of North Rhine-Westphalia on Wednesday. All the way down to the Rhineland there was a thin white layer in the morning. In the lower altitudes, the snow had melted quickly - but for many students it was enough for a little snowball fight or a mini snowman. It was so slippery on the roads that there were numerous accidents.
In Spenge near Bielefeld, a bus slid into a ditch on a slippery road and tipped over on its side. Passengers were not yet on the bus at the time. The driver was also lucky and was able to free himself unharmed, said a police spokeswoman. Throughout the country, the police reported numerous sheet metal damages.
Bus service suspended in several cities
Although the clearing services were in continuous operation, at times hardly anything worked on some motorways such as the A45 in the Sauerland. In some cities, such as the Siegerland, bus services were completely suspended for several hours due to icy roads.
Also in the night to Thursday it could become slippery again, warned the German Weather Service. On Thursday, however, meteorologists expect hardly any new snow in North Rhine-Westphalia. However, it will probably remain frosty for a few more days even at lower altitudes.
The Sauerland starts the ski season
Nevertheless, the conditions in the winter sports areas in the Sauerland are already very good. With up to 30 centimetres of natural snow and enough cold for the snow cannons, Winterberg wants to start the ski season this Friday. For cross-country skiers, more than 100 kilometers of trails have already been groomed, the Wintersport-Arena Sauerland announced. Due to the snowfall of the past few days and the persistently frosty temperatures, an unusually early start to the season is possible this year.
According to the plans, four lifts in the Winterberg ski lift carousel will start on Friday. A few other winter sports areas with ski and toboggan lifts in the Sauerland are planning to start the season on Saturday and Sunday, but most of them are waiting for the first highlight of the season towards Christmas.
More than 100 kilometres of trails for cross-country skiers
Cross-country skiers are already finding good conditions: In Bad Berleburg-Girkhausen in the Wittgensteiner Land, for example, more than 30 kilometres of trails have been prepared, in Winterberg 50 kilometres. There are also groomed trails in Bad Berleburg-Wunderthausen and in Willingen in northern Hesse, said a spokeswoman.
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According to the Wintersport-Arena Sauerland, the prices for day tickets this year are between 25 and 48 euros - that is 1 to 3 euros more than last year. In the smaller ski resorts, you can often use the lifts much cheaper than in the large ones, said the spokeswoman.
Autumn balance: There were several weather extremes
Despite the winter weather at the end of November, meteorologists believe that autumn was once again far too warm. In other respects, too, the weather in the meteorological autumn from September to November was characterized by extremes. With an average of 12.4 degrees, the temperature was 2.9 degrees above the long-term average. This means that it was warmer in North Rhine-Westphalia than in any other federal state, wrote the German Weather Service.
At the same time, there was a lot of rain: the meteorologists in NRW registered 325 liters per square meter - 56 percent more than usual. Despite all the rain clouds, there was also room for the sun: it shone for 360 hours in autumn. This was a good 22 percent more than in average years. September in particular was still very sunny. Dpa