Germany issues extreme weather warning for next storm

Germany is bracing for the next winter storm dubbed Zeynep, which is set to cause widespread disruption.

Germany issues extreme weather warning for next storm
Fallen trees in Berlin after storm 'Ylenia'. Photo: picture alliance/dpa | Gerd Roth

The clean-up after storm Ylenia is still underway. But more stormy weather is forecast for Germany on late Friday afternoon into Saturday. 

Meteorologists at the German Weather Service (DWD) predict that the focus of the new storm will be the northern half of Germany. Parts of Schleswig-Holstein, Hamburg, Mecklenburg-Western Pomerania, Bremen, Lower Saxony, Saxony-Anhalt, Brandenburg, Berlin, North Rhine-Westphalia, Hesse, Thuringia and Saxony will be most affected.

DWD issued a red storm alert for these areas lasting from Friday at 6pm to Saturday 4am. The most serious purple warning for ‘extreme storm weather’ was in place for North Sea coastal areas.

Gale-force winds between 120km/h and140 km/h – or even 160 km/h – are expected in the worst affected areas. 

READ ALSO: Passengers in northern Germany face travel chaos due to storms

Rescue teams urged people in Germany to prepare for the high winds.

“Everything on the terrace that is not nailed down is best brought in, put in the garage,” Christopher Rehnert, head of the Lüdenscheid fire brigade, told broadcaster ARD on Friday morning. He added that flower or plant boxes should be removed from balconies.

Between the North Sea and the High Rhine, the wind is expected to increase on Friday morning, and from the afternoon onwards the next heavy storm will begin – spreading from west to east.

On Friday night through to Saturday, the wind could get stronger at the North Sea and in some high-altitude areas.

Disruption expected

In some places, school lessons are likely to be affected again on Friday – as they were on Thursday – or cancelled altogether. The district of Goslar in Lower Saxony announced that pupils could not be transported anywhere. Therefore, classes in all general and vocational schools were cancelled. In Hamburg, parents can decide for themselves whether their child should stay at home, but they should inform the school.

Warnings of storm surge danger have again been issued for the German North Sea coast on Friday.

Since Wednesday evening, hurricane storm Ylenia has caused havoc across Germany, grounding flights and hitting the rail network. Emergency services have been overrun – the Berlin fire and rescue team alone was called out to around 1,300 incidents by Thursday evening.

There were also deaths and injuries. At least three drivers in Lower Saxony and Saxony-Anhalt died in weather-related accidents in their cars – two were killed by falling trees, a third died when his trailer ran into the oncoming lane in the storm, causing an accident.

An incident on a Hamburg harbour ferry had a mild outcome for the people on board: on a stormy journey across the Elbe, a large wave smashed the front windows of the ship on Thursday morning. According to the police, three passengers were slightly injured.

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Public warned as Storm Antonia lashes Germany

Wind gusts exceeding 100 km/h have injured motorists, toppled trees, and disrupted train travel around Germany.

Public warned as Storm Antonia lashes Germany

Storm Antonia—the third severe storm to hit Germany since Thursday, swept through the country with winds of up to 100 km/h in the southwestern state of Baden-Württemberg, and even recorded hurricane force winds of 149 km/h on the Feldberg mountain peak in the Black Forest.

Two drivers in Lower Saxony were injured when their cars crashed into a tree that Antonia had blown over.

Both drivers had to be taken to nearby hospitals in the Osnabrück district, according to a police spokesperson. The storm also overturned a truck on Schleswig-Holstein’s Fehmarnsund Bridge, closing the roadway to the nearby island in both directions. In the meantime, Antonia also flooded parts of Hamburg’s Altona district.

Antonia also damaged cars and destroyed roofs in North-Rhine Westphalia. Fire crews in Herdecke, just south of Dortmund, reported that a roof of one apartment building flew off and landed on another building, massively damaging it, although no injuries were reported.

200 metres of a bus overhead line in Solingen were also completely ripped out after a tree fell on the line.

German state rail company Deutsche Bahn is also warning travellers to expect both delays and cancellations on Monday after storm damage made more than 6,000 kilometres of rail track impassable.

Long distance trains originating in the northeastern cities of Rostock and Stralsund saw their services to both Hamburg and Berlin cancelled.

Further cancellations were seen on routes between Emden and Cologne and operations between Siegen and Dortmund. Regional rail service in North-Rhine Westphalia was halted as a precautionary measure on Sunday evening, but are set to resume normal operations Monday.

Replacement bus services on rail lines operated by Metronom in Lower Saxony, Hamburg, and Bremen are expected to be in place until Monday afternoon, with rail restrictions in Thuringia, Saxony, Saxony-Anhalt, Rhineland-Palatinate, and Saarland expected to last through much of Monday.

Following disrupted train services, some lessons in the Lower Franconian district of Miltenberg were cancelled for Monday.

Antonia is the third severe storm to hit Germany since Thursday and some damage still remains from previous storms Ylenia and Zeynep.

At least six people died in those two storms, with insurance claims expected to be in the billions.

Meteorologists with the German Weather Service (DWD) say high winds will remain an issue in Germany this week, but will be weaker.


Hurricane – (der) Orkan  

Storm – (der) Sturm 

Storm damage – (die) Unwetterschäden