German snowpack has dropped to its lowest level in two years as heavy rains and snow cover allowed water levels to drop in the Grazers-Eistwald National Forest.
The German state of Baden-Württemberg reported a total of 1,500 mm of rain falling across the state between the hours of 12.30am and 1.30pm on Saturday.
The wet conditions, which were likely caused by high temperatures and winds, also resulted in a number of tree falls, a German official said.
The forest service reported the snowpack at a record low of 6.0 cm on Saturday morning, which is below average.
“The last time we saw snow in the forest was in 2009,” spokesman Stefan Jahn said.
“It is possible that the rainfall of this year will be the driest on record.
The snowfall could be even higher.”
This was not the first time the German forest service had recorded rain in the area.
A year ago, the forest service recorded 7.4 mm of snowfall.
In September 2015, German authorities reported snowfall of more than 9 mm across the country.
In 2016, snowfall was at a peak of 13.7 mm in the Badenwald Forest.
In 2017, the area saw snowfall rates of 7.1 and 7.5 mm respectively.
This time, it was raining, so the snow fell faster.
A total of 10,000 people were evacuated from the forest, with another 7,000 going to a temporary shelter.
“This rain is unprecedented in Germany, with no other rain event like this since the industrial revolution,” German Interior Minister Wolfgang Sobotka said.
There were also snowstorms in Germany in January, which saw more than 50 cm of snow fall.
“At this stage, the situation is critical and we are prepared for it,” said Interior Minister Michael Schulz.
The rain is not likely to be sustained for much longer, as the weather pattern is still changing, the spokesman added.
Weather experts have also predicted the rain could turn into a storm over the next couple of days.
A storm of this magnitude can affect areas as far away as the UK, with heavy rainfall.
“If the weather is right, it will become a hurricane,” said Joachim Schmidt, an atmospheric scientist at the University of Exeter.
“You would expect it to be very severe, with winds of 100 km/h.”