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“No comparison to last week”: Weather service warns of heavy rain this weekend

“No comparison to last week” : Weather service warns of heavy rain this weekend

The flood disaster has cost hundreds of people their lives and many have lost their homes. There were fears that the Steinbach reservoir would break. Now the German Weather Service is warning of heavy rain again. “However, the weather conditions cannot be compared to last week,” says an expert.

The heavy rainfall that caused catastrophic flooding in North Rhine-Westphalia and Rhineland-Palatinate was just a week ago. But this weekend, heavy rain and thunderstorms have been forecast in many places by the German Weather Service (DWD).

Until Friday evening it will remain dry and sunny in the west, with temperatures of up to 30 degrees Celsius. During the night from Friday to Saturday, the low-pressure area ‘Dirk’ will move across the Emsland district to the Alps. “In some areas, thunderstorms with heavy rain, severe gales and hail are to be expected,” says Tobias Reinartz from the DWD. Rain is also expected in the southern Eifel region up to the Upper Rhine during the night.

On Saturday and Sunday, the region could be hit with isolated strong thunderstorms and heavy rain. However, Björn Goldhausen from WetterOnline reassures us that these are very typical and localised storms. “We have completely different weather conditions to last Wednesday,” says Goldhausen. The possibility of heavy rainfall and flooding in some places cannot be ruled out, he says. “It can look very different in the neighbouring place two kilometres away,” says Goldhausen. He explained that the heavy rainfall last Wednesday occurred across a very large area.

“Rainfall and thunderstorms over the weekend are expected to be local. There is no reason to panic,” says the weather expert. This does not mean though that there could be flooding in some places - including the areas already affected in the Ahr valley, in the district of Euskirchen and in the Vorgebirge. “But the situation is not comparable,” says Goldhausen. The weather expert recommends keeping an eye on the weather radar and the warning apps.

Due to the weather forecasts, the crisis team at the Ahr says that consultations are under way between experts from the German Weather Service and the water management sector to ensure that preventive measures can be taken.

The Steinbach reservoir was for a long time the focal point after the severe weather on Wednesday. At a press conference held by the Euskirchen district authorities on Thursday, it was explained that “the reservoir has been completely emptied in the meantime.” A new spillover is to be installed in the coming days so that the reservoir can be operated safely in future. “We estimate that this will be implemented in 14 days’ time,” says Markus Böhm, Managing Director at e-regio. The district authorities made no statement on Thursday in response to the question of whether further measures will be taken at the reservoir in view of the weather forecast, or how the situation could develop there in the event of further rainfall.

(Original text: Nathalie Dreschke, Translation: Caroline Kusch)