GFreezing rain in the south, snow in the north: Wednesday’s weather is dangerous for many people. The German weather service warned in an official storm warning of black ice in parts of Baden-Württemberg. “The precipitation is so heavy that the ice sheet is growing so that there is a widespread expectation of smoothness,” said a DWD meteorologist. A severe weather warning will be issued later in the morning.
Large parts of southern Baden to Upper Swabia and possibly also the Swabian Alb will be affected. “Freezing rain would be less dangerous than freezing rain. This immediately forms a smooth surface on the roads,” said the meteorologist. Significant traffic delays are expected. In the northern half of Baden-Württemberg, the first snow was already falling from the west.
Be careful on ice surfaces and in forests
The Baden-Baden fire brigade advises all citizens to exercise particular caution when entering ice surfaces. “Children are particularly at risk. They easily overestimate the still far too thin ice cover. Even if the ice appears solid near the shore, it can look different a few meters away. If the ice breaks away, you inevitably fall into the water. The result is life-threatening hypothermia.”
According to the fire department, the ice must be at least 15 centimeters thick. Stepping on ice that has dark spots or cracks is life-threatening. Crowds of people like ice skating are just as life-threatening because of the risk of overloading. If the ice crackles and cracks, has cracks or if water gushes onto the surface, the ice surface should not be stepped on. Those already on the ice should lie flat to spread the weight over a larger area and crawl to shore.
Forest Minister Peter Hauk (CDU) said that the risk of branches breaking and falling that give way under the load is increasing. This is a significant danger for forest visitors. “Furthermore, forest paths can become icy and very slippery or blocked by fallen trees. Therefore, for the time being, these forest areas should be avoided at all costs until the snow has melted from the branches of the trees and safe path conditions are restored.” Hauk appealed to people to postpone forest hikes or to move the routes outside the forest. Hauk also recommended the free app “Hilfe im Wald”. In an emergency, this could navigate the helpers to the injured.
First accidents in Baden-Württemberg
In southern Baden, slippery roads in the morning have already led to several accidents. One driver was slightly injured, police said. In Gaggenau (Rastatt district), a driver drove his vehicle into a wall and was slightly injured.
The Freiburg police also reported several accidents: Among other things, one car slipped into a guardrail, two others drove into a wall. A driver also went off the road with the vehicle and stopped in the ditch. However, nobody was injured in the accidents.
In Bavaria, on the other hand, there has not yet been an accumulation of accidents in Bavaria, as a query at the police headquarters revealed. However, due to the freezing rain and the associated risk of ice, the municipal cemeteries in Munich remain closed. “Mourning ceremonies and burials are carried out,” emphasized a city spokesman. Mourners would be picked up by cemetery staff at the respective main entrance, escorted to the mourning hall and burial place, and brought back to the exit.
Snow and ice in Rhineland-Palatinate and Saarland
In Rhineland-Palatinate and Saarland it will also be wintry and slippery in places in the coming days. Only in the afternoon does it snow less and loosen up. Temperatures range from minus four to plus one degree. At night even minus ten degrees are possible and it will be smooth again.
Thursday will be a bit friendlier, at least in the north, and mostly dry in the south, despite lots of clouds. At night it gets very cold again at minus three to minus eight degrees and fog can form.
On Friday it will be foggy and cloudy in places, but dry with temperatures around the freezing point.
Snow in Hesse too
Especially in the morning there is an increased risk of ice in Hesse, as reported by the German Weather Service (DWD). Here, too, the snowfall decreases in the afternoon. It gets frosty at temperatures between minus four and minus one degree. At night, temperatures can even drop to minus nine degrees and it will be particularly slippery in the south.
Thursday is a bit friendlier in some places, but it remains cloudy in the south. The maximum temperatures are between minus four and plus one degree. In addition to clouds, Friday also has sunny sections to offer. It stays mostly dry with temperatures around the freezing point.