Tuesday, June 10, 2014

Storm Advice

Summer has arrived in Germany....with storms delivering devastating results yesterday (couple of deaths and fair amount of damage from hail).  On one side, an American can feel the heat, the sun, and start to think it's all nice weather.  On the other side, you might start to observe the radical changes that can occur in Germany in the midst of summer.

So, some practical advice.

It's entirely possible while visiting the Bavarian Alps in June, July or August.....that a summer storm comes up....dropping the temperature by twenty degrees (F) in an hour, and suddenly short-sleeve shirt weather requires a jacket.  If you are in higher elevations....it's possible to get wet snow that readily melts.

Hail storms?  Across most of Germany with hot afternoon temp's getting up to 90 degrees (F)....you ought to prepare yourself for thunderstorms, lightning, sleet and hail.

Around fifteen years ago, on a calm afternoon....I noted black clouds coming over Sembach (where I lived).  An hour later....this huge thunderstorm unleashed three inches of rain over a ninety-minute period, with some significant hail coming down.  The village drainage system wasn't built to handle that type of situation and a number of homes had flood damage.

My best advice?  If you are out for the day....check the weather forecast that morning, and keep an umbrella around.  Yeah, in a hailstorm....the umbrella is useless, I agree.  But for serious rainfall....it gives you a brief minute or two of protection while you seek shelter (not under a tree of course).

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