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Extreme Weather: Scorching Heat in Berlin, Thunderstorms in West

Summer has not even commenced, but Berlin and other parts of Germany endured excessive heat today. By 9:00 a.m., temperatures in the country’s capital had already reached 28 degrees Centigrade (82 degrees Fahrenheit). Forecasters said Berlin would exceed the 90-degree mark today, and they were right.

On their way to work, school or the kindergarten, Berliners felt the heat. At ‘Hermannplatz’ Square in the mainly Turkish and Arabic part of the famous Kreuzberg borough, pedestrians enjoyed some shade at market stands. Down the stairs, the ‘U-Bahn’ (metro, subway, underground) provided some protection from the heat too.

But whoever was on the go on bicycles, and Berlin residents who were walking the streets, would sweat a lot. This included those who crossed the Spree river via ‘Oberbaumbrücke’ this morning. Since the bridge is being refurbished, cyclists and pedestrians need to squeeze. The same applies to cars, which are now confined to two lanes instead of four. But most drivers at least had A/Cs.

In this kind of heat, any Berliner could have fried eggs on the hood of any car parked in direct sunlight. Around noon, the city felt like Havana rather than like a Western European capital, except the ocean was missing.

On Monday, a forest fire was detected in Berlin’s ‘Grunewald’, on an area of more than 200,000 square feet. Fifty firefighters were on site in the afternoon.

Some regions in Germany were affected by thunderstorms on Monday. In the western North Rhine-Westphalia province, those lead to train cancellations and issues on the roads. On several Autobahn routes, huge traffic jams were reported.

In the city of Dusseldorf, excessive rainfall lead to floods on the streets. At Frankfurt Airport, one of the largest in Europe, landed aircraft could not be unloaded or serviced because of lightning.

More strong thunderstorms are expected to hit Hamburg, Lower Saxony, Rhineland-Palatinate and some eastern German provinces later today. Experts even said Tornados might be developing. In Hesse, 40 liters (10.5 gallons) of rain per square meter were forecast, a very high value. Hail might be falling as well.

Both the heat and the thunderstorms in Germany will supposedly last all week.