Earlier this year in spring, the WMO and others warned of another record hot summer and drought. The German media went bonkers in response warning that 2020 could even be hotter and drier than the 2018 and 2019 summers.
But now that the meteorological summer (June 1 – August 31) has ended, the data show that these earlier predictions were WRONG.
Germany’s DWD national weather service, having tabulated data from some 2000 stations nationwide, has issued its preliminary report for the summer of 2020. The results: a near normal summer.
Only 1°C warmer than normal
According to the DWD, the summer of 2020 was often variable, seeing only short periods of heat and that it was not until August that the midsummer “turned up the heat” for a spell of about 10 days.
With a mean of 18.2 °C, the summer of 2020 across Germany was was 1.1 C above the mean of the 1981 to 2010 period. In July, many locations did not see the thermometer reach even 30°C.
Only in August did a heat wave lasting several days see temperatures over 35°C.
Overall near normal rainfall
With an average of around 230 liters per square meter (l/m²) of precipitation nationwide, summer 2020 fell only slightly short of its long term mean of 239 l/m², the DWD reports. Thus the projection of a continued extreme drought such as seen in 2018 and 2019 failed to appear.
Some regions, such as the Uckermark, the Leipzig lowland bay, Saarland and along the Rhine, saw less than half of the typical rainfall. At the same time, there were continuous rainfalls, such as in early August in Upper Bavaria with up to 150 l/m² in 24 hours, which also brought flooding. In total, over 700 l/m² were measured in the Alps over the summer.
10% more sunshine (hence a bit warmer)
At around 675 hours, the sunshine duration in summer exceeded its long-term mean of 614 hours by around 10 percent. The coastal regions recorded over 700 hours of sunshine. In the western low mountain ranges, however, the DWD measured only 500 hours.
“Summer 2020 was completely normal”
Die kalte Sonne here summarizes Germany’s summer of 2020: “Summer 2020 was completely normal in terms of precipitation, including regional differences. One could have wished for an abnormally humid one after the dry years 2018 and 2019, but weather is not about wishful thinking. When it comes to precipitation (which is first and foremost decisive for drought), there has been no remarkable trend. Everything else you hear is not based on facts.”