When will it really be winter again? This year, at any rate, joins the series of overly warm German winters in which frost and snow are rare, especially in the lowlands.
Offenbach – Snow-covered forests, frozen lakes, freezing frost – for many children in Germany, these are probably scenes from their grandparents’ stories.
Outside of the mountain regions, sleds were rarely used last winter: According to the German Weather Service (DWD), the winter of 2021/22 was the eleventh too warm in a row.
Average temperature in winter
The average temperature was 3.3 degrees Celsius and was thus 3.1 degrees above the value of the reference period 1961 to 1990, as reported by the DWD in its preliminary winter balance sheet. Compared to the later, warmer period from 1991 to 2020, the deviation is at least 1.9 degrees. This makes the winter of 2021/22 one of the seven warmest since continuous weather records began in 1881.
Even if there was white splendor everywhere in the mountains at times: White Christmas was not possible in many places, even if there was snow around the holidays, first in the south and then in the north-east for a few days. But especially in the lowlands one looked for a snowy and cold winter mostly in vain. On the other hand, on December 22, Oberstdorf in the Allgäu recorded the lowest temperature in Germany this winter at minus 19.2 degrees.
winter is cancelled
In the west and south-west of the country, the winter has mostly failed, according to the evaluations of the approximately 2000 DWD measuring stations in Germany. From the beginning of December to the end of February, numerous locations did not register a single day with permafrost.
At the turn of the year there were even regional temperature records: Rheinfelden in the extreme southwest of Baden-Württemberg reported 18.2 degrees on January 4th, the highest value in Germany this winter. Overall, it was an extremely mild “cold season” with lots of sunshine, according to the meteorologists.
Weather conditions: Storm and rain
According to DWD information, the general weather situation was almost always the same throughout Germany in the winter months of December 2021 and January and February 2022: powerful storm lows moved from the west across the North Atlantic and turned north over the British Isles. The whole of Germany also repeatedly fell under their sphere of influence. Nevertheless, the winter was rich in sunshine and at the same time brought an excess of precipitation.
With almost 200 liters of precipitation per square meter, the winter of 2021/22 significantly exceeded its target value of 181 liters per square meter. December was rather dry, while February was very rainy: Grafling-Mühlen, north-east of Deggendorf in Bavaria, reported the highest daily amount on December 28 with 66.1 liters per square meter. Most of the precipitation fell in the Black Forest – more than 450 liters per square meter rained down locally.
A special feature of this winter was the unusual series of storms that lasted several days in mid-February and caused immense regional damage, especially in the north and west.
hours of sunshine in the winter months
With an average of 165 hours, the duration of sunshine in winter 2021/22 exceeded its target of 153 hours by around nine percent. Compared to the period from 1991 to 2020 with an average value of 170 hours, this year’s winter was almost average. The southern Black Forest and the Allgäu clearly had an advantage in terms of sunshine – here the sun was shining for up to 310 hours. On the other hand, the least amount of sunshine was recorded in the Thuringian Forest, the Franconian Forest and the Rothaargebirge with less than 105 hours in some cases.
For weather experts in this country, Tuesday is the meteorological start of spring: After that, spring lasts from March 1st to May 31st. dpa
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