Anyone who bought a thick jacket, warm boots and a chic scarf during the cold spell in September is likely to regret this decision in many places – at least for the time being. Autumn in Germany has so far been relatively mild and sometimes even warm with temperatures of over 20 degrees Celsius. Last week, the 25-degree mark was even broken in some places, which meteorologists consider a summer day. According to forecasts, this trend will continue until the end of the month. Is that still normal – or is it another consequence of climate change?
Record temperatures: Outliers are not untypical
First of all, weather is not the same as climate. Despite climate change, we could also have a cold October – that would theoretically be the case, for example, if the air came from the north. However, the air from the southwest is currently causing high temperatures in this country. “The very warm air from the Sahara comes to us via the western Mediterranean, the Iberian peninsulas and France”, said qualified meteorologist Jürgen Schmidt from the weather portal “Wetterkontor” in an interview with the editorial network Germany (RND). In Corsica, for example, over 32 degrees were measured on Sunday, in southern France over 30 degrees.
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Warm periods and outlier days in October are not entirely unusual either. In Munich, for example, the temperature was 27.5 degrees last year on German Unity Day. According to the German Weather Service (DWD), the city of Müllheim in Baden-Württemberg holds the October record for the highest daily maximum with 30.9 degrees on October 7, 2009. Decades ago, there were always days in October that were particularly warm – but the Climate change is not entirely innocent of the sometimes mild to summery temperatures of recent years. “The accumulation of mild October is striking. There used to be such outliers maybe every ten years, today they occur almost every year,” said DWD meteorologist Andreas Friedrich of the RND.
Meteorologist: Current October could be the warmest
The average temperature in October over the past 30 years was 9.4 degrees, the previous record average temperature in October was 12.5 degrees. This was achieved in 2001. According to Friedrich, this year’s October is currently sharing second place with 2006 – the average temperature in both cases is 12.1 degrees. “This shows that all the warmest Octobers are in the current millennium. This is certainly also a result of the climate,” says Friedrich. It is also possible that the current October will be the warmest. After all, the temperatures are expected to rise again in many places in the last few days of the month and will sometimes be over 20 degrees.
It should also be noted that mean temperatures in Germany have risen since weather records began in 1881 – and are significantly higher than the global average. The past decade (2011 to 2020) was 1.9 degrees warmer than the first three recorded decades (1881 to 1910), such as the Helmholtz Climate Initiative reported. More than 140 years ago, the temperatures would probably have been lower in the same weather conditions, according to Friedrich.
Gas consumption: Temperatures are “beneficial” for Germany’s savings targets
After all, the relatively warm October so far is “certainly advantageous for the gas storage facilities,” says Friedrich. Experts call for 20 to 30 percent less overall consumption in order to get through the winter well. In the comparatively cold September Figures from the European Commission according to only 7.4 percent saved. In the third week of October, gas consumption in households and small companies in this country according to the Federal Network Agency, however, can be reduced by 31 percent, a week earlier by 29 percent.
The decline is due to the relatively warm weather, but also to conscious savings, as the head of the network agency, Klaus Müller, announced. The development was “encouraging, we must continue like this,” he said last Thursday. However, these values do not include Germany’s 40,000 largest gas users, i.e. primarily industrial companies. They require around 60 percent of the gas.
However, the success in gas savings is not a reason for the all-clear. Statistics from the Federal Network Agency show that experience has shown that gas consumption increases significantly in November. Because then the temperatures usually drop so much that many people turn the heating up. Particularly icy temperatures in late autumn and winter could also have an even greater impact on gas consumption. Although he sees European climate change service “Copernicus” So far, there is no indication of an ice-cold winter in its seasonal forecast, according to which the probability of above-average temperatures in Central Europe is 50 to 60 percent. However, despite the forecast, a severe cold snap in winter cannot be completely ruled out.
With material from the dpa