Severe Thunderstorms Cause Havoc Across Germany

Sun 30th Jun, 2024

Image by Felix Mittermeier from PixabayOvernight into Sunday, severe thunderstorms unleashed chaos across large swathes of Germany. Particularly in the western and southwestern regions, heavy rainfall and hail pummeled the area. The German Weather Service (DWD) reported wind speeds reaching up to 100 kilometers per hour, akin to near-hurricane force.

By Sunday morning, the DWD had lifted all previous severe weather warnings for thunderstorms. However, meteorologists continued to caution about lingering strong storms in northern and eastern Germany. They warned that isolated severe thunderstorms, accompanied by heavy rainfall, remained possible in the northeastern half of the country until morning.

The storm disrupted a significant event in Dortmund on Saturday evening: the round of 16 match of the European Football Championship between Germany and Denmark. The game was temporarily halted due to intense lightning and heavy rain, which also brought hail onto the pitch. The storm's impact on spectators led to the cancellation of public viewing events in Dortmund, with similar precautions taken in Frankfurt am Main.

In addition to affecting sporting events, the storm caused operational disruptions at Dortmund Central Station. Lightning struck the railway line between Dortmund and Hamm, resulting in a brief closure that was swiftly resolved without significant damage or injuries.

In Oberhausen, lightning struck a residential building, sparking a fire that required fire department intervention. Although the blaze was extinguished, residents were unable to return to their homes immediately.

The severe weather also led to the cancellation of various events, including the SWR3 Rheinland-Pfalz Open Air concert in Mainz, where nearly 10,000 attendees had gathered.

According to meteorologists, such severe thunderstorm events occur only "once or twice a year in Germany," making this event particularly rare. The storm continued its path northeastward, with some regions expected to receive up to 80 liters of rain per square meter within a few hours--a testament to the intensity of the weather system.

Image by Felix Mittermeier from Pixabay


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