Weather and Climate in Germany
the jpoc guide
Much of Germany lies some distance closer to the equator than the UK. You might therefore expect that the general princple would be that the weather would be warmer. You would be wrong. With the exception of the North West of the country, Germany is a long way from the sea and thus, it experiences a continental climate not at all like the temperate maritime climate enjoyed by the UK.

This means that the winters are colder than in the UK and the summers are hotter.

OK, so much for the GCSE in Geography but what does this mean in practice?

If you are heading off for some place like Duesseldorf, Dortmund, Paderborn or Hannover, you will find that the weather will be much like the south of England except that there is more rain!

If you find yourself down in Munich, you really should be prepared for extremes of weather. In the first winter that I spent there, there was one three month spell when the "max" section of my max/min thermometer never got above minus ten C.

A few weeks before I wrote this, Munich saw one metre of snow and temperatures down to minus twenty five degrees Celcius. According to the police, sixty thousand motorists then spent the Friday night before Christmas sleeping in their cars on the Autobahn between Munich and Nuremberg. There is a moral to that: if you are not prepared for that kind of weather, it might just kill you so take a very warm coat with you even if you expect to go door to door in a car.

The summers can often be uncomfortably hot but there is one other thing of which you should be aware. Rain storms, often with thunder can arrive vey suddenly even on hot days with otherwise sunny weather. Being out in one of these does not just involve getting very wet. They arise from air which has been over the mountains and is very cold. The water may be only just above freezing and given that the volume is roughly equivalent to having a bucketful chucked over you every second, you should be able to appreciate that getting stuck out in this kind of rain can be seriously bad for you.

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