1. GA-English
  2. News

Weather forecast for the holidays: What are the chances for a white Christmas in Bonn?

Weather forecast for the holidays : What are the chances for a white Christmas in Bonn?

It has been exactly ten years since Bonn last experienced a white Christmas: In December 2010, the city and surrounding area lay under a thick blanket of snow. Statistically, there should be a white Christmas every ten years. So will we have a white Christmas again in 2020?

In 2010, Bonn and the region had the coldest December since 70 years. Meteorologist Karsten Brandt from the Bonn weather service donnerwetter.de remembers it well: "At that time, there was a glorious blanket of snow even in the city center." On December 22, Bonn was literally buried in snow: 22.4 liters of snow per square meter fell from the sky, making for a white Christmas - an event that Brandt says is "very very rare" in the Rhineland.

Looking back, however, it would be a bit too much to describe December 2010 as a "winter wonderland”: The sun rarely made an appearance in Bonn and the region, the icy roads led to more accidents than usual, and clinics had to treat twice as many people for broken bones as on normal days. The garbage collection service was at times unable to navigate the snow-covered roads, and the city of Bonn spent almost 100,000 euros on road salt in the second half of 2010 alone. The average temperature was minus 0.9 degrees Celsius, and on Christmas Day it was minus 8.4 degrees in Bonn.

And in 2020? There was only one snowfall in Bonn this year: on February 28. "And then only in the higher areas of the city, there was nothing at all in the lower lying areas," says Karsten Brandt. This year's autumn was unusually warm, dry and sunny in Bonn and the region. December, on the other hand, has so far proven to be quite chilly. According to the German Weather Service, there is a white Christmas about every ten years. So what are the chances of snow for the 2020 holidays in Bonn and the region?

Meteorologist Björn Goldhausen from wetteronline.de in Bonn explains: "We can't make any reliable predictions 14 days before Christmas Eve, we'll have to wait a few more days. But the first tentative signs are pointing in "a rather untypical direction," Goldhausen said. "There's not much indication for the typical Christmas weather, which up to 70 percent of the time means mild rainy weather during the holidays," says Björn Goldhausen. So what does that mean looking ahead to the holiday season this year? The weather expert expects a significant rise in temperatures after the third weekend of Advent, but it might not last long. And then there is a weather pattern in Russia that might have implications for us here. The consequences could be varied: from freezing cold to lukewarm, everything is possible, says Goldhausen.

Karsten Brandt also says temperatures will be rising in Bonn and the region in the coming days based on the current weather models: "Already on Sunday we are at around 8 degrees, then in the following week at 10 to 13 degrees." And Christmas Eve? Brandt has a rather bleak forecast: "8 degrees, rain." According to current calculations, the probability of a white Christmas is "below 5 percent." The European Centre for Medium-Range Weather Forecasts (ECMWF), which will be based in Bonn from 2021, also sees little chance of snow on the holidays.

But weather expert Björn Goldhausen does not want to completely write off a white Christmas: "It is not impossible. This year, everything is different anyway - and maybe the weather will offer us a conciliatory tone as we close out 2020."

Orig. text: Anna Maria Beekes

Translation: ck