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Germany records hottest April ever

April 30, 2018

The National Meteorological Service reports that April 2018 was the warmest April in the recorded history of German weather. Average temperatures were 5 degrees higher than during the comparison period from 1961 to 1990.

Bonn: Japanese cherry blossoms
Image: Getty Images/A. Rentz

The year 2018 saw the warmest recorded April in German history, beating the previous record set in 2009, the National Meteorological Service (DWD) reported on Monday.

At a projected 12.4 degrees Celsius (54 F), the average temperature proved 5 degrees Celsius (9 F) higher than the April value from the internationally valid comparison period from 1961-1990 and 4 degrees higher than the figure from 1981-2010.

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The findings

  • Highs not seen even in summer hit later in the month, such as the 30.4 C recorded in the southwestern village of Ohlsbach on April 22.   
  • Precipitation dropped drastically as temperatures soared, with 35 liters of rain per square meter (.86 gallons per square foot) recorded — just 60 percent of the monthly target of 58 liters per square meter.
  • With over 225 hours, the amount of sunlight significantly exceeded the normal value of 152 hours.
  • But the month had started with subzero temperatures in some places (-4.9 C in the central town of Fritzlar on April 6) and ended with hailstorms in the southwest. 

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'Already predominantly springlike'

"Anti-cyclones over Central Europe and Scandinavia kept the low-pressure fronts mostly away from Germany in April," the DWD announced.

"As a result, at the beginning of the month, temperatures were already predominantly springlike, from the second half even summery."

"On average, the month was the overall warmest April for Germany and many federal states since the beginning of continuous weather records in the year 1881." 

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Victims of the brutal cold

Climate change: The warmest months have all been recorded in recent years, but you have to go way back for the coldest Aprils. Average temperatures of below 0 C were registered in 1917, 1929 and 1903. DWD spokesman Gerhard Lux attributed the discrepancy to the effects of climate change.

The hot spots: Bavaria soaked up most of the country's warmth, with a mean of 12.5 C and, tied with neighboring Baden-Württemberg for 250 hours of sunshine. Berlin was the warmest state overall, with an average temperature of 13.8 C.

The cooler areas: With temperatures averaging just 9.9 C, Schleswig-Holstein was Germany's coldest state. With about 165 hours, the western regions of Emsland, Münsterland, the Ruhr district and the Eifel were among the poorest in terms of sunshine.

Dangerously dry: With precipitation of 25 liters per square meter, Bavaria reached just 39 percent of its target and was therefore the precipitation-poorest federal state. Bavaria usually receives 70 liters per square meter in April. The area around Lake Constance on the border with Switzerland, received just 10 liters per square meter. 

About the DWD: Established in 1952 and now administered by Germany's Transport and Digital Infrastructure Ministry, the DWD is headquartered in Offenbach am Main and gathers statistics on weather and meteorological conditions. 

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Cool start: The summerlike conditions in April are set to take a break in May, with temperatures expected to drop to 2 C and ground frost in places. 

mkg/rt (dpa, DWD)

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