High winds hit Germany as storm moves in; floods feared

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People enjoy the sea in Biarritz southwestern France, Wednesday, May 18, 2022. The hot weather is expected to last for several days across the country. (AP Photo/Bob Edme)

BERLIN (AP) — Gusts of wind of up to 100 kilometers per hour (62 miles per hour) hit areas in western and northwestern Germany on Thursday after the national weather service warned that heavy storms could bring the possibility of tornadoes.

Authorities in North Rhine-Westphalia, one of the states hit by a deadly flash flood last July, issued an official storm warning Thursday.

Meteorologists said a storm front moving eastward from neighboring France could result in “extreme” rainfall in central Germany on Friday. There was also a risk that supercells could form, increasing the risk of tornadoes, they said.

Germany, like many of its European neighbors, has experienced a warmer, drier spring than usual this year, with little rainfall and lots of sunshine.

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