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German weather, road conditions, where to get information, and car tire requirements in Germany

Drive Carefully

Germany is known for many things: beer, bratwurst, mountains, and castles. One thing it is not known for is its weather. Weather in Germany is fairly moderate but unpredictable. Summers can be hot (above 80F/26C), and winters can be cold (below 23F/-5C) but it can also snow in spring, rain in summer, and have hot sunny days in autumn. For this reason we would like to inform you of what we do when the unpredictable weather patterns bring inclement weather to USAG Ansbach

Inclement weather brought on by the autumn and winter months can hinder movement in and around the Kasernes within USAG Ansbach. When the bad weather hits know that USAG Ansbach officials and snow removal crews will do all they can to ensure roads and major thoroughfares are cleared, offices are open, and services are available. However, there may come a time when the snow or ice conditions may delay school start times, delay work call (both military and civilian), or cause a cancellation of Physical Training for Soldiers.

Stormy Weather

In extreme weather there may come a point where the decision is made to close offices, services, schools, or even Kasernes. Please be aware that these measures will happen under only the most extreme conditions but you should know what the road condition colors mean, where to get information, and what the German laws are; here is what you should know.

To stay informed of USAG Ansbach road conditons, delays, and closures subscribe to our Twitter feed at: USAG Ansbach Twitter feed »
A weather alert will be preceded with the hashtag #AnsbachAlerts.

For current IMCOM- Europe road conditions and school closures go to the
IMCOM-Europe Road Conditions & School Closures webpage »

Road conditions and colors explained

Disclaimer: Road conditions are a guide and planning tool for the community to mitigate risks and maximize safety. The final decision to travel in inclement weather rests with the vehicle operator. The city of Ansbach does not have a road condition planning tool but it does inform the public of hazards and conditions that may make driving hazardous.

Normal/Green = Dry road surface, no ice or snow on the road surface; visibility is more than 50 meters (160 feet).

Hazardous/Amber = Any of the following on the road surface: Patches of black ice/slush, up to four inches of snow and/or visibility between 20-50 meters (60 – 160 feet), slow down (below 50kph/32mph) and drive with caution.

Dangerous/Red = Any of the following on the road surface: Flooding, drifting snow, ice sheets, four to eight inches of snow and/or visibility is less than 20 meters (60 feet).

Extremely Dangerous/Black = Any of the following on the road surface: Heavy flooding, heavy snow drifts, extreme sheets of ice, more than eight inches of snow and/or visibility less than 15 meters (50 feet).

For more information and examples, please read our flyer Inclement Weather Procedures.

The USAG Ansbach Garrison Commander, working with the Department of Emergency Services, determines what the road conditions will be and whether or not there will be delays or closures. This information is immediately relayed to AFN Europe, the USAG Ansbach Garrison and Schools staff, and posted on the USAG Ansbach Inclement Weather Blog.

Whatever the road conditions, you MUST contact your supervisor for advice about going to your place of work. Contrary to popular belief the road conditions do not dictate whether a Soldier, Civilian, or student should go to work or school - only a supervisor or the schools administration can determine that. Also know that even if the American schools have a delayed schedule or are closed German schools are unlikely to be delayed or closed.

USAG Ansbach garrison staff cannot make decisions regarding personnel either, you must contact your supervisor. If you do not feel comfortable driving in bad weather, please inform your supervisor. If you do drive in bad weather, be careful!

For more information and examples, please read our flyer Inclement Weather Procedures.

Car tire requirements when driving in Germany

In Germany the law states that you must have the proper tires mounted according to the weather conditions. This means that if you drive your vehicle during inclement conditions, you must have serviceable tires that suit those conditions. To drive your vehicle in the winter months and during inclement weather, you must have serviceable Mud + Snow tires (M+S) or winter tires with a suggested tread depth of 4mm. These tires must have a snowflake or alpine symbol no the sidewall to meet this standard. For more information and examples, please read our flyer Drive Safely Through the Winter

All European countries have laws about the tires you must have on your car during the winter months. Before you travel, check the law in the country you will visit as some laws are based on fixed dates and not the road conditions.

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