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5b-like weather conditions in Germany: Red alert in 17 districts

2023-12-01T18:18:28.490Z

Highlights: Snow expected to subside at the weekend, but there is a risk of permafrost and low temperatures. More than 150 take-offs and landings have been cancelled at Munich Airport. There is also a severe weather warning for the south of Bavaria. On Friday morning alone, the police in Bavaria had to be called out 48 times due to accidents on slippery roads. On Hesse's highest mountain, the Wasserkuppe, skiing starts this Saturday. Snow and slippery conditions cause red alert in 17 districts in Germany.



Status: 01.12.2023, 19:00 PM

By: Teresa Toth, Mark Stoffers, Anna-Lena Kiegerl

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The onset of winter hits Germany. The emergency brake is pulled at Munich Airport. The snow is expected to subside at the weekend, but there is a risk of permafrost and low temperatures.

Update from December 1, 17:40 p.m.: The onset of winter also caused chaos atMunich Airport on Friday. According to a spokesman, more than 150 take-offs and landings (as of 17:28 p.m.) had to be cancelled due to the weather. The snowfall and low temperatures in the state capital had forced this measure, said the airport spokesman. There is also a severe weather warning for the south of Bavaria.

As of Friday afternoon, about 160 flights will not be able to take off or land. At least one runway should remain free at all times. The lanes are cleared alternately. Passengers are asked to check with their airline about any cancellations. According to the German Weather Service (DWD), it is expected to snow continuously until Saturday (2 December), so the airport expects further cancellations.

Meanwhile, in Hesse, the snow and cold ensure an early start to the winter sports season. On Hesse's highest mountain, the Wasserkuppe, skiing starts this Saturday. Visitors can look forward to 30 centimetres of natural snow and up to twenty centimetres of technical snow, said Jeremias Kümpel from Wiegand Erlebnisberge GmbH.

The onset of winter is causing icy roads in Germany. The winter service has its hands full. © Armin Weigel/dpa

Winter in Germany: Snow and slippery conditions cause red alert in 17 districts

Update from December 1, 10:56 a.m.: The weather in Germany is expected to remain wintry over the weekend. Due to heavy snowfall, red alert is in effect in Bavaria - the German Weather Service (DWD) has issued an official severe weather warning: "Heavy snowfall with amounts between 30 and 40 centimeters occurs during the warning period. It will be spread smoothly," the experts said. Isolated amounts of snow of up to 60 centimetres may occur until Saturday evening.

A severe weather warning will apply here from Friday:

  • District and City of Passau
  • Kreis Rottal-Inn
  • District of Altötting
  • Kreis Mühldorf am Inn
  • District of Traunstein
  • District of Berchtesgadener Land
  • District of Erding
  • District of Ebersberg
  • District and City of Munich
  • District and City of Rosenheim
  • District of Miesbach
  • District of Bad Tölz-Wolfratshausen
  • District of Starnberg
  • District of Weilheim-Schongau
  • District of Garmisch-Partenkirchen
  • District of Ostallgäu
  • District of Oberallgäu

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The warning will initially apply from today, Friday, at 14 p.m. until Saturday at 20 p.m. On Friday morning alone, the police in Bavaria had to be called out 48 times due to accidents on slippery roads. Fortunately, there have been no serious injuries so far.

The DWD also warns of persistent snowfall in Baden-Württemberg, where the orange warning level applies. Snow amounts of up to 20 centimetres are possible.

Snowfall must also be expected in large parts of Germany over the weekend. © Armin Weigel/dpa

The Rhine-Main area also continues to struggle with heavy snowfall. In the Main-Taunus district, there have already been road closures in recent days due to fallen trees. Public transport is also affected by the extreme weather – delays and cancellations must be expected.

Winter weather also at the weekend in Germany: "Permafrost will be an issue over a large area"

Update from 1 December, 06:14 a.m.: Snow and ice also dominated the weather in many places last night. Nevertheless, only a few traffic accidents have been recorded so far. In Bavaria, where it snowed heavily during the night, the situation is largely relaxed. "It's slippery, but we don't have any accidents," said a police spokesman in the Upper Palatinate. In Upper Bavaria, too, there are "relatively few accidents involving snow and ice," explained the Upper Bavaria South police headquarters. The situation is similar in the north of Upper Bavaria, where there were few accidents due to the weather.

"No chaos": Traffic situation largely relaxed despite wintry conditions

"There are wintry road conditions, but no chaos," said a spokesman for the situation center in Saxony. The Brandenburg Situation Centre presents the situation in a similar way: "The main roads and motorways have all been cleared, on the side roads we have a few car accidents, but nothing out of the ordinary." And in Thuringia, too, apart from a few broken-down trucks, there have been hardly any accidents due to the weather.

In the night to Friday, the winter service had to be deployed in many places. © Imago/Maximilian Koch

In the northeast of the country there will probably be no more snow for the time being. On the other hand, "permafrost and highs between minus three and minus four degrees await us," said a meteorologist from the DWD on Friday morning. In the south, on the other hand, it is a little warmer, temperatures of up to two degrees are possible here. In addition, it will continue to snow in Baden-Württemberg and Bavaria during the day. "At the very edge of the Alps, precipitation can also fall as rain," says the meteorologist. There are also snow showers in the coastal area.

Official slippery road warning: "Freezing wetness is still an issue over large areas in Germany"

Nevertheless, severe slippery conditions must still be expected. The DWD meteorologist explains: "Freezing wetness is still an issue over large areas in Germany." Almost all over the country there is an official ice warning from the DWD. This is valid until Friday at 12 noon. In the south, locally rain with black ice is possible. In parts of the north, there is also an official warning of severe frost. Temperatures of -4 to -8 degrees are possible. When clearing over the snow, these values drop to -8 to -12 degrees.

At the weekend, this picture can be seen all over Germany. "Permafrost is becoming an issue over a large area. It is frost-free during the day only on the coasts, along the Upper Rhine and in southern parts of Bavaria," said the meteorologist. Snow is then expected to be isolated.

Update from November 30, 19:12 p.m.: The onset of winter is hitting Germany with full force. While snowfall and real winter weather – especially in autumn – were mostly only known from stories in previous years, the first cold enthusiasts were already quietly hoping for a white Christmas. The last time this was seen in this country was in 2010.

However, the 5b-like weather conditions, which are currently causing a massive onset of winter in Germany, are having a strong impact on road traffic. Snow and slippery conditions have already led to many accidents, injuries and even traffic fatalities in recent days.

5b-like weather conditions in Germany: Expert warns of a "traffic gridlock"

And the 5b-like weather situation in Germany could make the traffic situation even worse. In his current weather forecast, a meteorologist even speaks of a possible "traffic gridlock" that could affect motorists in this country. After an icy cold Wednesday night with temperatures as low as minus 15 degrees, experts warned in their weather forecasts of more slippery conditions in the next few days.

Responsible for this is the low pressure system "Robin", which is moving over the Alps and brings with it initially milder temperatures and rain. However, the precipitation can quickly lead to freezing wetness. In the south of Baden-Württemberg and Bavaria, the weather forecasts for the coming days therefore already warn of rain, freezing rain and snow. This weather condition creates a high risk of slippery roads. Therefore, the DWD has issued a weather warning for flash ice and "striking slippery conditions" for large parts.

According to the weather forecast, "difficult situation between rain and snowfall" in Germany: "It will be dangerous"

Therefore, meteorologist Georg Haas is issuing a wetter.com warning for the south as early as Thursday. For the rest of the country, he predicts snow showers to heavy snowfall. Weather expert Jan Schenk also warns in his forecast on The Weather Channel for the south: "This difficult situation between rain and snowfall will last until Friday afternoon. And then it gets dangerous," he predicts the weather conditions into Friday.

According to its weather forecast, low pressure Robin is moving northwards, which could lead to snow and traffic chaos in Germany, with 20 to 50 centimeters of fresh snow. This could snow in roads, restrict rail traffic and paralyze airports. "So there could be a short-term standstill," the weather expert goes on to discuss the possible effects of the onset of winter in Germany.

5b weather situation in Germany: Friday threatens flash ice danger in the south

Especially in the night to Friday and on Friday morning it can become extremely slippery on the roads due to flash ice, snow or sleet. According to the weather forecast, it is likely to snow from the Danube to Nuremberg. It seems to be more critical further south. There is a threat of flash ice and rain, which could lead to traffic chaos, especially in the early morning hours.

If you don't necessarily have to be on the roads, it's better to leave your car at home on Friday morning (1 December). There could also be flash ice in Switzerland and along the Danube to Vienna due to the 5b weather situation. According to the forecast, the weather is expected to change on Friday afternoon. The cold air will continue to flow south and the rain will completely turn into significant snowfall on Friday evening, which will probably end or at least defuse the flash ice situation.

5b-like weather conditions – meteorologist predicts freezing rain and "a real snow chaos"

First reported on November 30, 12:38 p.m.: Munich – The first snowfall has been falling in Germany for a few days now, creating a pre-Christmas atmosphere. In the next few days, continuous snowfall and permafrost are also imminent in some parts of the country and could thus lead to traffic chaos.

Snow and freezing rain: wintry weather in the coming days

Meteorologist Daniel Jung, among others, reports on the wintry weather on wetter.net. According to the weather expert, there will be heavy snowfall in the Rhine-Main area as early as the night from Thursday to Friday, December 1. In this area, this could cause an explosive situation on the roads: "Considerable icy roads are to be expected here during rush hour," explains Jung. During the night it will be wintery, especially in the southwest. It will snow in Baden-Württemberg as well as in Hesse, Saarland and Rhineland-Palatinate.

Subsequently, the snowfall will continue to spread towards the southeast. The reason for the wintry weather is a 5b-like weather pattern that dominates the weather over the southeast of the country. On Friday it will snow from the Ore Mountains to the Danube. As Jung explains, there could be "a real snow chaos" in the southeast. In the south and southeast, it will snow from Friday morning to Saturday evening. It can be 20 - 30 cm of fresh snow, south of the Danube even 40 - 50 cm are possible. However, especially in the south and southeast, freezing rain and freezing rain may also occur during the night to Friday, as higher temperatures are to be expected here at times.

In the next few days, snow and ice are to be expected on the roads. © Imago/Rolf Poss

What is a 5b weather situation (also called Vb weather situation)?

The term describes the path of a low pressure system from the Gulf of Genoa over Austria, the Czech Republic and Poland. The special feature is that these weather events are associated with larger amounts of precipitation, especially in the southeastern half of Germany, in Poland, the Czech Republic, as well as in parts of Austria and northern Italy. This precipitation is intensified by a build-up of mountains, such as the Ore Mountains or the Alps. Vb weather conditions have been responsible for major flooding several times, especially in summer. In winter, however, the amount of precipitation is much more harmless.

(Source: dwd.de)

Risk of slippery roads in Baden-Württemberg also at the weekend: "freezing wetness"

There is also a risk of slippery roads at the weekend. The German Weather Service (DWD) warns against this. Saturday and the region in southeastern Baden-Württemberg are particularly affected. However, caution is also advised in the night to Sunday. "Where the snow melts, freezing wetness must be expected at night," explains a spokesman for the DWD. This is especially the case where temperatures climb above zero during the day and are below freezing at night. The affected regions are mainly Upper Swabia, Upper Rhine, Neckar and Kraichgau.

Permafrost and cold: down to -40 degrees at an altitude of 5500 meters

Already in the night to Thursday it became icy cold in places in Germany. For example, -16.3 degrees were measured in Itzehoe, at a measuring height of two meters. Above the snowpack, on the other hand, at a measuring height of five centimetres, a whole -20.4 degrees could be measured in Ostenfeld. At altitudes of 5500 meters, the temperature is currently between -36 degrees and -40 degrees Celsius. This also leads to falling temperatures on the ground and permafrost. At night, this means temperatures of up to -10 degrees, above the snow even -20 degrees.

So it's "at least another week of winter," according to Jung. From next week, Thursday, the weather situation could change and it could become milder again. This is shown by some weather models. Nevertheless, it remains to be seen for a more accurate forecast. By the way: autumn 2023 will probably be the second warmest autumn in history since weather records began. Before that, in first place, is only the autumn of 2006. Although in October of this year we were even able to sit on the balconies in T-shirts. (AKI/TT/KH with dpa)

Source: merkur

All news articles on 2023-12-01

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