Natural Hazards you can encounter in Munich and southern bavaria
Every place you travel to, has specific natural hazards you can encounter during your visit. Some places on earth are safer than others and some natural hazards can really be a pain as they occur often. Here you will find out what to expect in Munich and southern Bavaria and what to do if you’re affected during your stay. But don’t worry. Munich and southern Bavaria are very safe regions concerning natural hazards like floodings, thunderstorms and severe downpour.
Germany can encounter storms with wind speeds up to 64 knots (12 bft, 120 km/h, 75 mph). Fortunately, severe storms only occur every 5-10 years. The last severe storms that hit southern Germany were in 1990 (storms “Vivian” and “Wiebke”), 1999 (storms “Lothar” and “Martin”) and 2007 (storm “Kyrill”).
Like Hurricanes, the European windstorms get names. The European windstorms usually appear during late winter (January – April) or autumn (September-November). An interesting fact is, that the different European weather services name the same storms differently. So if you travel across Europe and you watch the media in different countries while there is a storm going on, you’ll notice that the name changes from country to country. For example the 1999 December storm was called “Anatol” in German speaking countries, but got the name “Adam” in Denmark, “Carola” in Sweden and “December hurricane” in Great Britain.
In contrast to Hurricanes in the USA, European windstorms (German: “Orkan”) usually appear without rain or thunderstorms. It is actually just extremely windy. Sometimes there can even be a clear sky.
Fortunately, severe European windstorms are rare, but there can still be mediocre storms that affect for example air or rail traffic.
There is actually not much you can do as a tourists when it’s stormy. Try to check the local media before travelling. If possible, try to rebook your flight to another destination near Munich like Milan or Zurich and take the train from there (if these airports are not affected).
Thunderstorms can be encountered in Munich and southern Bavaria from late April until late October. They appear mostly during hot summer days, especially in the late afternoon when the air gets humid.
Thunderstorms in southern Bavaria and Munich can get severe, but a really heavy thunderstorm is rare. Anyway it’s quite frightening and annoying, getting caught by a thunderstorm while sitting in a beer garden or while doing sightseeing. My tip here is to use the official German Weather Centre warning app on your smartphone or use the website www.meteoalarm.eu. The App allows you to set warning options for your location and before things get serious, it will warn you via a push message.
When in a thunderstorm, try to seek shelter in a coffeeshop, restaurant or shop. Usually thunderstorms in Munich only last up to one hour. During a heavy thunderstorm, avoid being outside, especially on flat fields or in woods. Lightnings can strike and harm you. Sometimes (usually during summer) a thunderstorm in Munich can come with hail. Often the hail doesnt get bigger than small marbles, but sometimes it can get severe (see: severe hail)
More to come soon.