German Weather Service

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German Weather Service
- DWD -

DWD-Logo 2013.svg
State level Federation
position Higher federal authority , partial legal entity under public law
Supervisory authority Federal Ministry of Transport and Digital Infrastructure
founding 1952
Headquarters Offenbach am Main , Hesse
Authority management Gerhard Adrian
( President , Chairman of
the Board of Management and Board Spokesman)
Servants 2156
Budget volume EUR 388.1 million (2019)
Web presence
Video: The German Weather Service

The German Weather Service (DWD) is a higher federal authority based in Offenbach am Main, Hesse . The German Weather Service is a public law institution with partial legal capacity in the business area of ​​the Federal Ministry of Transport and Digital Infrastructure ( Section 1 (1) DWDG ). The higher federal authority is the national civil meteorological service of the Federal Republic of Germany . It provides meteorological services ( weather forecast ) for the general public or individual users, such as shipping , agriculture or science.

Tasks and structure

The main task is to warn of weather-related dangers as well as to monitor and document the climate in Germany and to evaluate its changes. The DWD also operates the national climate archive of the Federal Republic of Germany and, with the German Meteorological Library, has one of the largest specialist libraries on the topics of weather and climate worldwide. There is constant contact with the federal government , federal and state ministries, municipalities, business and industry for advice and cooperation. The legal basis for the DWD is the law on the German Weather Service ( DWD law ). The DWD is a member of the working group of departmental research institutions .

To fulfill these tasks, the DWD is divided into the following areas:

Headquarters of the DWD in Offenbach
Weather information board at the regional headquarters in Hamburg, on the left in the background the former DWD official sign
Regional headquarters in Munich


In addition to the head office, there are six regional head offices located in Hamburg , Potsdam , Leipzig , Essen , Stuttgart and Munich . In addition, the DWD operates the densest and largest meteorological monitoring network in Germany by 51 full-time staffed weather stations , including 16 Aeronautical Meteorological and 131 full-automatic weather stations . The part-time monitoring network of the DWD comprises 1794 stations that are supervised by volunteer weather observers.

In 2015, the DWD opened the first urban climate station at Berlin's Alexanderplatz to get readings from the densely built-up cities in which more than 70 percent of the population lives and works. Compared to the measuring stations in the surrounding area, the temperatures in these heat islands can be up to 10 ° C higher. The aim is to react better to climate change. In 2018, the fifth of a total of ten planned urban climate stations was opened at the DWD site in Freiburg im Breisgau .

City climate station of the German Weather Service in Freiburg
One of the full-time automatic weather stations ( Appental ) of the DWD in Meßstetten at 899.5 meters


The DWD was founded in 1952 by merging the weather services of the various Western Allied occupation zones . The first president was Ludwig Weickmann , but due to his advanced age he was replaced by Rudolf Benkendorff the following year . He stayed in office until 1960 and had a decisive influence on the first few years. In 1954 the Federal Republic of Germany joined the World Meteorological Organization .

From 1955 to 1957 the head office was built on Frankfurter Strasse in Offenbach. The design by Paul Friedrich Posenenske was characterized by a separation of the outer walls and the load-bearing structure, which was emphasized by the staggered ribbon windows and is considered an "important building of German post-war modernism ." The building, which soon became too small for the requirements of a modern weather service, became after More than ten years of planning demolished at the end of 2004 to make way for a new building. The new headquarters designed by Michael Frielinghaus was inaugurated in September 2008 and since then has housed the entire workforce of the Offenbach location, which at the time comprised around 900 employees, in one central building. Three woodworks by the Frankfurt artist Thomas Bayrle were installed in the inner courtyard of the building complex .

Since 1960 the DWD itself has not been active in the German "television weather" - the Hessischer Rundfunk took over this task for the ARD . In the meantime, all German television stations in Germany organize their weather programs either with their own weather editorial offices or with the help of external service providers. The DWD only supplies the observation and forecast data that serve as a basis for the work of the local meteorologists.

In 1966, the DWD installed its first supercomputer , a CDC 3800, and began producing a numerical weather forecast on a daily basis.

In 1975 the European Center for Medium-Range Weather Forecasts was established in Reading to produce forecasts of up to ten days.

In 1990 the DWD integrated the Meteorological Service of the German Democratic Republic .

Since the 1990s, the number of manned weather stations in the German Weather Service has been continuously reduced, which inevitably has resulted in a considerable reduction in staff . In the opinion of the DWD, quality losses are not to be feared, since modern remote sensing instruments such as weather radar or weather satellites, with their area-based measurement, ensure a significant improvement in the observation data.

Since 1999, the DWD has been the world's first weather service to operate a global, operational weather model called GME .

In 2006 the data processing and visualization system NinJo was introduced, which was created as part of international cooperation. The Offenbach Weather Park was inaugurated on July 15, 2005 .

In 2008 the new DWD headquarters was opened at the same location - Frankfurter Strasse. The old building from the 1950s had to give way as it would have had to be completely rebuilt due to new safety regulations. In addition, the new building created sufficient space for the employees who were previously housed in rented offices, as well as for the new mainframe computer.

From March 2009 on, the DWD operated an NEC SX-9 high-performance computer with a peak performance of 109 TFLOPS to calculate weather forecasts.

By the end of 2013, the DWD had switched its 16 stations of the radar network from operational network radars with quality assurance radars to dual-polarization radar devices. A 17th station in Niederrieden near Memmingen was already put into operation in 2011 . In 2014/2015, the DWD reduced its staffed weather stations from 70 to 51 locations.

In 2014, the previous high-performance computer was replaced by two new supercomputers from Cray for calculating the numerical weather forecast for 24 million euros, each providing 550  teraflops and enabling the use of a more precise forecast model.

At the beginning of 2015, GME was replaced by the new ICON developed with the Max Planck Institute for Meteorology , which is operated both globally and on a section of Europe. In addition, COSMO-DE is a fine-scale, regional weather model that covers Germany, Austria and Switzerland.

At the end of 2016, the Cray high-performance computers were expanded to a peak performance of 1.1 petaflops each .

Public services


Weather station at the Westermarkelsdorf Insel Fehmarn location
Weather radar station of the German Weather Service DWD in Dreieich-Offenthal
Video: How is a weather forecast made?

The DWD publishes its weather warnings for the public on the Internet. These include, for example, storm warnings, warnings of severe thunderstorms or snowfall warnings. As part of the basic supply, the German Weather Service offers a free daily weather report for Germany, which can be subscribed to by email. The current weather situation is indicated on the DWD website for the individual federal states.

Since 1952 he has been creating and distributing sea weather reports and forecasts via the sea weather service. The German Weather Service has also issued regional heat warnings since 2005 . The warning system aims to reduce the number of deaths and illnesses in the heat. The reason for the development of the warning system was the heat wave in Europe in 2003 , in which more than 3,500 people in Germany alone were probably victims of the high temperatures.

Since 2006 it has been possible to subscribe to the DWD's pollen warnings via the website as an e-mail newsletter. The German Weather Service also publishes the Kostra heavy rain catalog .

Evaluation of the German Weather Service on temperature development in Germany in the period 1881 to 2018, shown as a deviation from the mean value 1961–1990.

The DWD regularly publishes analyzes of climate developments in Germany. To do this, he evaluates the current measurements from his own measurement network, as well as the data from the predecessor organizations. Systematic and area-wide observations have been carried out in Germany since around 1881, so that the DWD can assess climate change over this period. In the period from 1881 to 2018, this results in a temperature increase of 1.5 ° C (linear trend over the annual area mean values).

According to information from the DWD, 2018 and 2020 were the two years with the highest average temperature (10.5 and 10.4 ° C) since the beginning of nationwide weather records in Germany. 2020 was also the tenth year in a row with an average temperature above the long-term average.

Controversial warning weather app

In June 2015, the free WarnWetter app was published for Android and iOS. The app for Windows 10 (Mobile) has been available since March 2017. The official weather warnings and weather forecasts are made available there. This app is viewed by private weather service providers organized in the Association of German Weather Service Providers (VDW) as a violation of § 6 DWDG and therefore illegal. After the VDW failed with an application for an interim injunction based on fair trading law at the Darmstadt Regional Court and in a second instance at the Frankfurt am Main Higher Regional Court , the association brought two main complaints against the German Weather Service in April 2016.

In response , the federal government, in close cooperation with the DWD , initiated a draft amendment to the DWDG in November 2016 that would have expressly allowed these controversial apps. In the legislative process, however, the Federal Council sided with the VDW. In the amended version of the DWDG, the DWD was only required to offer smart services to the extent that they are assigned to the warning of storms and radioactivity or to disaster control. With a ruling of November 15, 2017, the Bonn Regional Court subsequently prohibited the DWD from distributing the WarnWetter app. On December 19, 2017, the DWD first had to implement the provisionally enforceable judgment in the form that certain information could only be permanently activated in the free WarnWetter app for a one-off payment of 1.99 euros.

On July 13, 2018, the 6th Civil Senate of the Cologne Higher Regional Court decided on the appeal lodged by the DWD against the judgment of the Bonn Regional Court of November 15, 2017. The Senate overturned the challenged judgment of the Bonn Regional Court and dismissed the action insofar as it was based on competition law. According to the Higher Regional Court, the provision of the WarnWetter app is certainly not a “business act” in terms of competition law. The German Meteorological Service will act on the basis of its legally standardized task. These statutory tasks also include the provision of meteorological services for the general public as part of the general interest. Since the German Weather Service had acted within the scope of the area of ​​responsibility specifically assigned to it, the application of competition law was ruled out. This applies regardless of the question of whether the WarnWetter app is chargeable and whether it generates income. The administrative court must decide on the public law admissibility of the WarnWetter app, which is also controversial in the proceedings.

On March 12, 2020, the review of WetterOnline was successful at the Federal Court of Justice . The DWD will continue to offer the full version of the WarnWetter app for a fee according to the judgment.

Weather radio transmitter Pinneberg

The German Weather Service operates the Pinneberg transmitter , which broadcasts weather reports worldwide.


Web links

Commons : Deutscher Wetterdienst  - Collection of images, videos and audio files
Wiktionary: Deutscher Wetterdienst  - explanations of meanings, word origins, synonyms, translations
  • Official website of the German Weather Service
  •… - broadcast plan of the sea weather reports
  •… - UV index forecasts
  •… - WarnWetter-App (including FAQ)
  • - Current weather warnings, severe weather warnings, heat warnings and other weather hazards in Germany from the DWD
  •… Meteorological station of the Jülich Research Center to describe a complex station that is integrated into the climate measuring network of the German Weather Service; with current weather / climate data.

Individual evidence

  1. ^ DWD board member, advisory boards. In:, accessed on April 9, 2020.
  2. Federal Budget 2020 - Section 12 - Federal Ministry of Transport and Digital Infrastructure. Federal Ministry of Finance, accessed on August 27, 2020 (overview of positions / positions, page 256f).
  3. Retrieved October 23, 2019 .
  4. More precisely:

    "Tasks of the DWD [...]

    • Provision of meteorological and climatological services
    • Meteorological security in aviation
    • The aviation weather service is SES-certified and integrated into the global security and meteorological support of civil aviation.
    • Meteorological security for shipping
    • Worldwide safety and support for shipping ( International Convention for the Safety of Life at Sea )
    • Meteorological protection of the traffic routes as well as important infrastructures - especially the energy supply and the communication systems
    • Issue of official warnings about weather phenomena
    • Short-term and long-term recording, monitoring and evaluation of the meteorological processes, structure and composition of the atmosphere
    • Recording of the meteorological and climatological interaction between the atmosphere and other areas of the environment
    • Analysis and prediction of meteorological and climatological processes, as well as analysis and * projection of climate change and its effects
    • Monitoring the atmosphere for radioactive trace substances and predicting their transport
    • Operation of the required measurement and monitoring systems
    • Provision, archiving, documentation and delivery of meteorological and climatological geodata and services "
    - DWD: tasks.
  5. locations.
  6. Numbers and facts about the DWD. As of 2015.
  7. DWD opens first urban climate station in Berlin on Alex. DWD, accessed on September 6, 2018 .
  8. DWD opens new urban climate station in Freiburg-Mitte. DWD, accessed on September 6, 2018 .
  9. German Weather Service. (PDF; 5.9 MB) Annual report 2012. P. 90 , accessed on April 14, 2018 .
  10. ^ Topping- out ceremony for the German Weather Service in Offenbach. In: . April 2, 2007.
  11. New building for 72 million euros in Offenbach. In: Frankfurter Allgemeine . July 10, 2003, accessed April 9, 2020.
  12. Thomas Bayrle: Brushstroke 2008. In: Museum der 1000 Orte, accessed on April 9, 2020.
  13. Karsten Hufer: 50 years of weather map, interview with the head of the hr weather department, Silke Hansen. (No longer available online.), February 23, 2010, archived from the original on February 25, 2010 ; Retrieved November 30, 2012 .
  14. 50 years of ups and downs, weather forecasts on television. In: Stuttgarter Zeitung . March 1, 2010, accessed April 9, 2020.
  15. ↑ Handing over of the keys to the new building of the German Weather Service. Tiefensee: Strong high on the climate front! ( Memento from September 23, 2015 in the Internet Archive ) (PDF; 24 kB) Press release from the Federal Ministry of Transport, Building and Urban Development, September 4, 2008. In:, accessed on April 9, 2020.
  16. Inauguration of the new headquarters of the German Weather Service (DWD) in Offenbach am Main on September 4, 2008 ( Memento from September 23, 2015 in the Internet Archive ) (PDF; 261 kB) Construction information. In:, accessed on April 9, 2020.
  17. New computer predicts the weather more precisely . In: Berliner Morgenpost , March 18, 2009. 
  18. DWD: The Radar Association of the German Weather Service ( Memento from September 23, 2015 in the Internet Archive ) (PDF; 2.3 MB) In:, March 4, 2011, accessed on November 30, 2012.
  19. Peter Badenhop: More precision with 550 teraflops . In: Frankfurter Allgemeine Zeitung . January 14, 2014, ISSN  0174-4909 ( [accessed December 24, 2015]).
  20. Global model ICON. German Weather Service, accessed on January 31, 2019 .
  21. Regional model COSMO-DE. German Weather Service, accessed on January 31, 2019 .
  22. Free Germany weather report as a newsletter.
  23. | Current weather conditions in the federal states
  24. a b page "Time series and trends" of the German Weather Service.
  25. DWD: 2020 second warmest year in Germany on
  26. Peter-Michael Ziegler: Open-Data-Wetterkapriolen: Dispute over the new weather service law . In: c't - magazine for computer technology . No. 8 . Verlag Heinz Heise, March 31, 2017, p. 66 ff .
  27. Darmstadt Regional Court of July 24, 2015, business number 20 O 92/15.
  28. Higher Regional Court Frankfurt a. M., judgment of February 4, 2016, reference number 6 U 156/15 = GRUR-RR 2016, 155 = MMR 2016, 535.
  29. ^ A b Stefan Krempl: Bundestag: German weather service can offer storm and disaster data free of charge. In: Heise online . June 22, 2017. Retrieved August 30, 2017 .
  30. Section 6, Paragraph 2a, No. 2 in conjunction with V. m. Section 4 (1) no.3, 7 DWDG new version
  31. Bonn Regional Court, judgment of November 15, 2017, business number 16 O 21/16 (unpublished; not legally binding).
  32. Bonn Regional Court : The DWD's weather app is not permitted under competition law. In: (press release). November 15, 2017. Retrieved November 16, 2017 .
  33. Regional court Bonn prohibits DWD free distribution of the WarnWetter app. In: DWD press release. December 19, 2017. Retrieved July 28, 2019 .
  34. Cologne Higher Regional Court: Partial success for the German Weather Service in the dispute over the WarnWetter app. (PDF; 87 kB) Press release. (No longer available online.) In: July 13, 2018, archived from the original on July 28, 2019 ; accessed on August 9, 2018 .
  35. Press office of the Federal Court of Justice: The "DWD WarnWetter-App" may only be offered free of charge and without advertising for weather warnings. Press release No. 028/2020 on the judgment of March 12, 2020 - I ZR 126/18 - Warnwetter-App. In: March 12, 2020, accessed March 14, 2020 .
  36. Volker Briegleb: BGH judgment: State weather service must restrict free app. In: heise online. March 12, 2020, accessed March 14, 2020 .

Coordinates: 50 ° 6 ′ 11.4 "  N , 8 ° 44 ′ 51.8"  E