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Travel

Fun in the snow: Winter has arrived, finally!

Cold, snow and icy streets - a sudden cold snap has brought snow to many parts of Germany. Maybe not enough to go tobogganing, but everywhere is cold enough to need a winter coat - and it is expected to stay that way.

Snowboard in the Black Forest, Copyright: picture-alliance/dpa/P. Seeger

The lifts are not yet operational - so to slide down, you first have to hike up

In many parts of the country, the low pressure area "Jürgen" has brought plenty of snowflakes. There have been road accidents due to icy conditions. And the winter weather is set to stay, according to the German Meteorological Office in Offenbach. On Tuesday November 24, low pressure area "Lauritz" is due to arrive and is expected to bring more snow and rain and in northern areas gale-force winds.

In the Allgäu region, some 10 centimeters (3.9 inches) of snow had people out tobogganing. On the highest peak in Baden-Württemberg, the Feldberg, they were joined by snowboarders. In the Harz region, with its Brocken mountain, thousands went on winter hikes last weekend. Even in Hamburg there were numerous snow flurries. Bavaria has issued the first avalanche warning, saying that the new snow in higher areas would have fallen on unfrozen ground, so was likely to start slipping, especially around steep cliffs.

Meteorologists had initially predicted even more snow for this first cold snap. But temperatures during the day rarely slip below freezing point. The ground is still relatively warm after the warmest November on record, so any snow tends to melt quickly. This cold spell, according to the German Meteorological Service, originates just north of Greenland but en-route makes a detour via the 12-degree-Celsius (53.6 Fahrenheit) warm east Atlantic sea.

ak/sb (dpa)