Overall, 2012 was somewhat warmer than normal, with slightly less rainfall than usual and a positive total amount of sunshine. Individual months were, however, highly changeable and, in some cases, extreme weather situations occurred. New weather records were set in some places, as the initial analysis by the Deutscher Wetterdienst (DWD) of data from its around 2,000weather stations shows.
At the beginning of the year there were strong westward currents, bringing very mild weather. A pronounced high pressure system in the first half of February brought extremely cold air to central Europe, to the extent that numerous lakes and rivers froze over. This was followed by a further period of warm and relatively dry weather from mid-February onwards, with exceptionally sunny weather prevailing in March. Initially, April was relatively cool but an unusual advection of warm air masses at the end of the month set new seasonal records. Rapid temperature fluctuations also continued in May. The start of the summer saw widespread rainfall, followed by very hot and thundery weather with temperatures almost reaching 40degrees. Autumn brought some summer-like weather, setting records for warm temperatures in October but this was followed by a sharp early onset of winter. The weather during the first half of December was wintry throughout Germany but, after that, only the north-east was affected by the snow and cold. A thaw had set in everywhere at Christmas, with spring-like warmth even extending to the highest mountain regions. >> More