1. Skip to content
  2. Skip to main menu
  3. Skip to more DW sites

German village logs -28.9 Celsius as cold snap persists

Alex Berry
February 15, 2021

A village in the Erz mountains recorded Germany's coldest temperature of the winter so far. In Berlin, icy scenes prompted revelers to put their skates on — only for police to try to disperse the crowds.

Deutschland | Winterwetter | Bundesweiter Kälterekord in Kühnhaide
The village of Kühnhaide near the Czech border is consistently among the coldest spots in Germany — though it's too remote to be part of the official DWD measuring network Image: Sebastian Willnow/dpa/picture alliance

An Atlantic depression left many parts of Germany with icy roads and weather warnings on Monday. Forecasters say this particularly cold winter period is almost over.

The Kachelmann weather service recorded this season's lowest temperature in the village of Kühnhaide, on the German-Czech border, Sunday night.

Some people sit on a wall while others walk along a frozen canal in Berlin
People gathered in large numbers in some places to enjoy the Valentine's Day weekendImage: Vladimir Menck/SULUPRESS/picture alliance

The record low of minus 28.9 degrees Celsius (-20 F) is unofficial, as it was not picked up by the German Meteorological Service (DWD), whose network does not cover the village.

The Kachelmann weather service announced the temperature on Twitter, reporting: "The cold depression last night, again in the east with some -20s. In Marienberg-Kühnhaide in the Erz mountains, it was at least -29 degrees, the coldest night this winter."

The DWD recorded its lowest temperature for the current winter season on February 10, when the temperature dropped to -26.7 degrees in Mühlhausen-Görmar, in the eastern state of Thuringia.

Germans frolicking on thin ice

Many Germans took to the frozen lakes and rivers over the weekend despite warnings from the police.

A police helicopter circled over Berlin in an attempt to clear the ice. Several hundred people reportedly walked out onto lake Müggelsee, ignoring calls to vacate the area. However, domestic media also questioned the proportionality of a police helicopter hovering low over the scene and kicking up clouds of snow and ice among the crowd.

People walk and skate on a partially frozen pond in Cologne
Police and emergency services have repeatedly told people to stay off the ice as it isn't thick enough to be safe in most placesImage: Ying Tang/NurPhoto/picture alliance

About 2,000 were lured to a frozen section of Lake Constance in the south of Germany, on the border with Switzerland.

Meanwhile, Bavarian emergency services found themselves having to warn people on Monday of the risk of breaking through thin ice.

The winds they are a' changin'

Weather forecasts project that the cold snap will come to an end during the week, with rain replacing snow in some regions and temperatures climbing back above freezing point.

Snow covered tree tops in central Germany, near the city of Frankfurt
Warmer weather will soon return, according to German forecastersImage: Michael Probst/AP Photo/picture alliance

"The weather situation will change just as the week begins," the DWD reported on Monday.

The Atlantic temperatures that have turned Germany to ice are coming to an end, and experts predict temperatures of up to 13 degrees Celsius in the warmest parts of the country in the coming days.

Skip next section DW's Top Story

DW's Top Story

A view shows the Transfiguration Cathedral damaged by Russian missile strike, amid Russia's attack on Ukraine, in Odesa
Skip next section More stories from DW
Go to homepage