ARCHIV - 21.08.2022, Nordrhein-Westfalen, Bonn: Ein Frachtschiff fährt auf dem Rhein, im Hintergrund ist das Stadtpanorama zu sehen. Die Bilanz des Deutschen Wetterdienst belegt es schwarz auf weiß: Der Sommer in NRW war im langjährigen Mittel viel zu heiß und zu trocken. (zu dpa "DWD-Sommerbilanz für NRW: Zu sonnig, zu warm und zu trocken") Foto: Thomas Banneyer/dpa +++ dpa-Bildfunk +++

Heat waves up to the far north, dried up rivers and parched fields: According to an initial report by the German Weather Service (DWD) in Offenbach, Germany experienced one of the driest and hottest summers since records began this year.

With an average temperature of 19.2 degrees Celsius, it was one of the four warmest summers on record in the past 140 years.

Coal phase-out, climate change, sector coupling: The briefing for the energy and climate sector. For decision makers

At the same time, this year’s summer was also the sixth driest with precipitation of around 145 liters per square meter, as the weather service announced on Tuesday with reference to a preliminary first evaluation of the data from its 2000 measuring stations.

In terms of sunshine duration, there was even a new record of 820 hours of sunshine from June to August.

“In times of climate change, we should have experienced what will soon be a typical summer,” explained DWD spokesman Uwe Kirsche. He referred to developments such as extremely low water levels in rivers, forest fires and emergencies in the drinking water supply.

“The extremes of this summer are also reflected in our climate statistics.” Systematic weather recording that allows comparisons has existed in Germany since 1881.

The Potsdam Institute for Climate Impact Research (PIK) also spoke of a growing trend as a result of global climate change. “The summer of 2022 is another warning sign that more extreme summers have already become the norm,” explained PIK meteorologist Peter Hoffmann.

The conditions varied from year to year and place to place. “But unfortunately no relaxation is to be expected in the coming years.”

With an average temperature of 19.2 degrees, the three summer months were clearly too warm, according to the findings of the DWD meteorologists. The value was 2.9 degrees above the average value that would be expected according to the so-called reference period from 1961 to 1990. This serves experts worldwide as a standard basis for long-term comparisons.

In contrast, there was a significant drop in precipitation. According to the DWD, the total for the three months of June, July and August was 40 percent below the expected value of 239 liters per square meter based on the reference period.

In Hesse, Rhineland-Palatinate and Saarland there was even a historic summer drought. But overall, the soil was similarly dry as in the drought year 2018, and fields and meadows withered.

According to the weather service, there were crop losses for potatoes, corn and sugar beets. Yields for the coming year are also likely to be affected by the severe drought, which again hit the forests enormously. Accordingly, the conditions for autumn sowing are “currently unfavorable”.

The weather service registered a new peak value for the duration of sunshine this summer. With a sunshine duration of almost 820 hours, the reference period value was exceeded by 35 percent and the previous record from the summer of 2003 with 793 hours was broken.

That summer was also very hot and sunny. He also holds the previous record for the warmest summer on record, with a temperature average of 19.7 degrees.

From a meteorological point of view, all three summer months turned out to be very warm and dry, but July in particular stood out with repeated heat waves. Meanwhile, new records were measured in northern Germany, which otherwise tended to be cool.

On July 20, Hamburg recorded a value above the 40-degree mark for the first time with 40.1 degrees. Records were also set that day in Lower Saxony with 40 degrees and Schleswig-Holstein with 39.1 degrees.

In particular, the PIK warned of an intensifying drought crisis with a simultaneous increase in the risk of extreme local torrential rain events due to the globally rising temperatures.