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Ice-cold March

Although the month has not yet come to an end just yet, one thing is utterly clear: March 2013 will go down in history as one of the coldest Marches Germany has seen in the last three decades. While March 1987 probably remains unchallenged as the coldest, according to the current forecast this year looks set to beat March 1996 (the second coldest) hands down. In addition, the difference to last year is particularly striking. March 2012 was the second warmest (!) witnessed over the same period. With temperatures of up to 23° C, beer gardens and ice cream parlors were as full last March as they tend to be in the summer months.

The past few days have even set a new all-time record: A high of just -3°C at the end of March has not been recorded in Berlin in over 150 years. And the nights have proved especially fierce, too. In Potsdam, a night-time low of -11.4°C smashed the old all-time low of -10.4°C set in 1899. In the northern half of Germany, in many places last March weekend was the coldest since regular weather records began.

That said, it is not just the temperatures that have made this month such a strange one in terms of weather. Above all the northeastern corner of Germany has and still is experiencing extraordinarily large and long-lasting snowfall. At times there was 28 centimeters of snow on the ground in HAMBURG – three centimeters more than the previous record set on March 17, 1969. Berlin has been covered by a permanent snow cover since March 10 and it doesn’t look like things will change much over the next few days. Not that Central Germany was by any means spared, as new records were set there as well: In Cologne there were 12 centimeters of snow, three more than in March 1962.

PM obs/wetteronline; dpa/pa.

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