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Overly Overcast: Germany Weathers Darkest Winter in 43 Years

World  (tags: Winter, Germany, climatchange, darkness, winter Blues, gloom )

- 1936 days ago -
The days may be getting longer, but there's still not a hint of springtime sunshine in Germany. Weather data shows that this winter has been the gloomiest in 43 years. If the sun doesn't start shining soon, it will be the darkest winter on record.

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Angelika R (143)
Wednesday February 27, 2013, 12:59 pm
*** Watch the photogallery! ***

Winter in Germany is typically a grim affair, dark and steeped in the kind of chilly damp that goes straight to the bones -- and, unhappily, to the psyche. But many residents feel that this winter has been particularly hard to bear.

Meteorologists say that's because it has been the darkest winter in more than four decades. Less than an average of 100 hours of sunshine have been recorded so far over the course of the meteorological winter, which runs from December through February, said National Meteorological Service (DWD) spokesman Gerhard Lux on Monday. The winter average is an already measly 160 hours of sun.

That makes it the gloomiest winter in at least 43 years. The winter of 1970, with an average of just 104 hours of sunshine, was the bleakest since records began in 1951. But if the sun fails to show itself much more this year, the winter of 2012-2013, will "probably reach a new all-time low," Lux told news agency AFP.

To make matters worse, the weather has become progressively gloomier since winter began. While sunshine levels nationwide were 10 percent below average in December, they dropped to 50 percent in December and are between 60 and 70 percent so far for February.

The Winter Blues

Newspaper headlines have reflected the desperation of many depressed German residents, lamenting "Where Is Spring?" and "When Will Winter Finally End?"

But sunlight is nowhere in sight before meteorological winter officially ends at the end of February, says DWD spokesman Lux, with more cloud cover, snow, drizzle and rain expected for at least the next week.

Light deprivation can have a serious effect on the human body, leading to what is known as seasonal affective disorder (SAD) or the "winter blues." But those feeling down should resist the urge to hide under the covers at home and go and exercise outside instead, DWD biometeorologist Christina Koppe-Schaller told AFP.

Even under cloudy skies, there is enough light to encourage the production of the mood-regulating neurotransmitter serotonin in the body. "The eye takes in sunshine for hormone production," she explains. But if it gets too little natural light, the result can be lethargy and depression.

"Those who remain on the sofa are just pulling themselves down further," she says.

*** not if they get busy on Care 2 ;-) ***


Past Member (0)
Wednesday February 27, 2013, 2:59 pm
Dont think ours is much better over here You just feel like hibernating but i force myself to go out and walk Yes where is spring The poor wild animals and birds must be noticing it too so damp and gloomy all the time Mind you i did actually see the sun for about 30 minutes today so thats something

noted thanks

Carrie B (306)
Wednesday February 27, 2013, 3:44 pm
I am beginning to think New Mexico has two definite weather patterns ~ cold, dry, windy winters ~ hot, dry, windy summers! God help us all!

Angelika R (143)
Wednesday February 27, 2013, 4:59 pm
wow, Carol -the sun? Send it over here please when you see it again! I'll have to start taking cod liver again if we don't get any sun SOON, dying for Vit D !
And Carrie-THAT could change, faster and more than you may like it.

Sheryl G (360)
Wednesday February 27, 2013, 5:48 pm
Some nice photos for scenary. I feel badly for you ladies, I know what the north is like having lived there most of my life. I would feel those "winter blues" when the sun didn't shine for days on end. I moved to Florida, named the Sunshine State, and thankful to say it holds true to it's name. I feel so much better overall since living here with the sunshine.

Angelika R (143)
Wednesday February 27, 2013, 9:57 pm
some more nice photos here: Germany's Naked Snow Sledding Championship
Don't miss this slideshow - how some folks have winter fun ! :-))

. (0)
Thursday February 28, 2013, 10:29 am
Thanks Angelika.

Süheyla C (234)
Thursday February 28, 2013, 10:48 am
Thanks Angelika

Frans B (582)
Thursday February 28, 2013, 12:12 pm
exquisite photo's...thanks for posting Angelika.....I really know nothing of this, we live in country where the sun ALWAYS shines, very bright as well :)...........♥

Fiona O (565)
Thursday February 28, 2013, 12:16 pm
Give me some of those clouds, please. Here in the Valley of the Sun desert, we endure an average of 324 days of full sun each year, followed by 20 days of partly cloudy.

Angelika R (143)
Thursday February 28, 2013, 12:53 pm
Betsy-TAKE THEM ALL-I OULD GLADLY TRADE! and sledding n the nude in snow is NOT my thing, really!
but I agree, some awesome photos- yep, perhaps those other ones as well(link above to the other post)

Winnie A (179)
Thursday February 28, 2013, 1:11 pm

Elizabeth M (65)
Thursday February 28, 2013, 1:54 pm
Noted and viewed photos. Thanks Angelika. I live in north central Alberta and we have had many more dreary cloudy days this year it seems. I guess maybe investing in a SAD lamp might help some, but I agree that even on cloudy days the eyes can detect enough sunlight to help the serotonin levels.

Mary D (47)
Thursday February 28, 2013, 2:22 pm
Thanks for interesting post.

Kathleen B (37)
Thursday February 28, 2013, 2:40 pm
Nice catch Angelica, as usual. I loved the winter of our discontent photos, I got a chill looking at the too men walking on the icy beach. thank you kate.

Lois J (63)
Thursday February 28, 2013, 3:15 pm
Noted. Would love to send you from sunshine from Tucson, too, Angelika. Amazingly, we had a couple of inches of snow here in the Old Pueblo last week. Now, we're back to sunny days and increasing temps. and should hit 80 by Sunday.

Munro T (80)
Thursday February 28, 2013, 4:15 pm
Who can doubt climate change?

Birgit W (160)
Thursday February 28, 2013, 4:16 pm
It seems winter is coming back to Germany. I can remember that I saw the first flowers and bees in January. Maybe it is a good sign.

Kim O (396)
Thursday February 28, 2013, 11:30 pm
Noting and jealous of Frans and Betsy. They can have our miserable constant rain and wind. Not even sure what the sun looks like anymore! A lot of the same crappy clouds here in Western Canada. I'm getting cabin fever from hiding inside!! Thanks Angelika

Julie W (32)
Friday March 1, 2013, 2:23 am
That sounds awful! I know when I lived in Britain for a year or so I really missed the sun.

On the other hand, here in Western Australia we have had the hottest summer ON RECORD. Day after day of temps around 35C is pretty hard to take.

Aurea A (226)
Friday March 1, 2013, 3:16 am
Photos are beautiful, but only 100 hours of sunshine is frightening.

Brad Kraus (6)
Friday March 1, 2013, 10:26 am
Very gloomy, indeed and I've been in Germany during the winter! Makes you appreciate the light even more when you know the dark.

Angelika R (143)
Friday March 1, 2013, 1:26 pm
Well friends I got news for you: all this complaining evidently has helped! Today the SUN CAME OUT! And also longer than for just minutes, it shined for hours! YAY!!

marie C (163)
Saturday March 2, 2013, 4:19 pm
We have had an extremely cold winter here in London UK
Thanks Angelika

LucyKaleido S (82)
Sunday March 3, 2013, 2:28 am
Beautiful photograph, Angie - just arrived here so haven't had time to view the gallery yet.

I was attracted by the title because it sounds exactly like how this winter has been in the north of France, thus Paris, too. I've been saying to myself for months that this year has been the dreariest, bleakest, darkest & WETTEST that I can remember in over 30 yrs living in France. And much colder than our usual mild temperatures.

I remember back in December a New York friend complaining to me that it had been raining there for 20 hours, which was nothing compared to our 30 or 40 days of almost nonstop rain.

And whereas we usually hear about flu affecting so many during winter, this winter it's been bronchitis & a particularly forceful type, that people -& not just smokers- don't get over in the usual time. I had to consult my doctor three times and take 3 separate antibiotic treatments, over a period of a month, and still it wasn't cured!

When I read about Dandelion basking in Florida sunshine, or 'poor' Betsy Bee enduring 324 days of sunshine, it sounds like a dream come true!

Lack of sunshine is SO bad for the psyche & the spirit; the grey, bleak winters here have always depressed me.

Angelika R (143)
Sunday March 3, 2013, 3:12 pm
AMEN to that Jill! How I can second all your words!

Nancy B (308)
Sunday March 3, 2013, 5:47 pm
Noted, tweeted, tweeted, shared. Wonder if this has anything to do with Global Warming? We could always ask the GOP.

Angelika R (143)
Sunday March 3, 2013, 6:26 pm
LOL Nancy - You cannot currently send a star to Nancy because you have done so within the last day.
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