Germany's hottest autumn

Potsdam, 30 November 2006  -  This year's autumn (meteorologically September to November) is the hottest German autumn since the beginning of weather observations. So-called south and southwest inversions that carried hot air from the Mediterranean region to Germany were responsible for it. Increased by foehn, temperatures exceeded on the northern edge of the Alps values of more than 20°C at the end of November. On 25 November, 21.3°C were measured in Oberstdorf. Even in the north of Germany, mild temperatures between 12°C and 14°C were measured.

Germany's hottest autumn follows the global warming trend. Climatologists observed an increase of south and southwest inversions since the 1920s and more intensively since the 1980s that is associated with the global warming of the Earth. Such an intensity like in this year's autumn, however, has not been expected. This year's autumn is another tessera for the increasing appearance of climate changes. Global warming leads more frequently to weather extremes. We clearly remember the hot summer of 2003 and the floods on the northern edge of the Alps in 2005.

In this year, the seasons in Germany do not seem to go according to plan – the extremely hot and dry July could also be called as a witness for climate changes.

The autumn of 2006 with its high temperatures beats the autumn of 1982 that used to hold the top position by exceeding its average temperature by 1 degree depending on the region under investigation. As regards the mean autumn temperature of many years, the autumn of 2006 is 2.5 degrees warmer.

This year's autumn mean temperature of 12.3°C for Potsdam (normally 8.9°C) corresponds with values that are normal for Istria and Crimea.

Contact persons at PIK: Prof. Friedrich-Wilhelm Gerstengarbe and Prof. Peter Werner, phone +49 331-2586 or –2587