High values on New Year's Eve, slightly less precipitation and above-average temperatures: According to meteorologists, this year's winter in Germany was again far too warm. "Germany experienced the twelfth winter that was too warm in a row. Climate change is not letting up," said Uwe Kirsche from the German Weather Service (DWD) on Monday in Offenbach. The DWD relates its provisional winter balance to the first evaluations of around 2000 nationwide measuring stations.
The average temperature was therefore 2.9 degrees and thus 2.7 degrees above the value of the internationally valid reference period 1961 to 1990. Compared to the current and warmer comparison period 1991 to 2020 it was 1.5 degrees more.
Record values on New Year's Eve
It was said that there were hardly any lowland winters. "Winter friends only got their money's worth in the higher mountains." And the turn of the year even brought record temperatures. A spring-like high of 20.8 degrees was measured on New Year's Eve at the Wielenbach station in Upper Bavaria. "We had higher temperatures in winter, but at the turn of the year it had never been so warm since measurements began in 1881," said DWD expert Andreas Friedrich.
The lowest value was also measured in Bavaria this winter, namely in Heinersreuth-Vollhof near Bayreuth, where the thermometer showed minus 19.3 degrees on December 18th.
According to the meteorologists, the sun shone quite averagely. At around 160 hours, the duration of sunshine in winter was around five percent above the target value of 153 hours for the period 1961 to 1990. Compared to the period 1991 to 2020 (170 hours), there was a minus of around 6 percent. The foothills of the Alps were the sunniest area with over 240 hours. In the low mountain ranges and in the north-east, the sun appeared for less than 120 hours in some areas.
The drought is increasing
And what about the rainfall? Overall, this year's winter months were reportedly slightly too dry. On average, around 170 liters per square meter fell. In the Black Forest, Harz and Sauerland, more than 500 liters per square meter fell locally. On January 12, Wipperfürth-Gardeweg in the western Sauerland region had the highest daily winter rainfall in Germany at 71.9 liters per square meter. For comparison: In the Upper Rhine Plain, no local 70 liters per square meter were recorded throughout the winter.
Weather experts in this country are guided by the meteorological winter, which lasts from December 1st to February 28th. For statistical reasons, too, the researchers calculate their data in whole months. The astronomical or calendar beginning of spring is on March 20th this year. At this point, the sun is vertically above the equator and is now moving north.