German weather, road conditions, where to get information, and car tire requirements in Germany
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.
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.
For current 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 US Army Commanders mission planning tool to mitigate risks and maximize safety. Road conditions do not apply to Privately Owned Vehicles (POV) or host nation city operations. A POV is any vehicle that is owned, operated, licensed, and insured by an individual. The city of Ansbach does not have a road condition planning tool as the US Army does, but it does inform the public of hazards and conditions that may make driving hazardous.
Green = Normal driving conditions.
Amber = Hazardous driving conditions.
Red = Dangerous driving conditions and only mission essential and emergency Government vehicles will be allowed to be dispatched or driven.
Black = Extremely dangerous driving conditions. Only emergency Government vehicles will be allowed to traverse the roads or be dispatched.
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!
Car tire requirements when driving in Germany
Most European countries have laws about the tires on the car during winter months. Check all the countries you will visit as some are based on fixed dates and not just the road condition. In Germany, you must have the proper tires mounted during inclement weather. This means that you must have serviceable Mud + Snow tires (M+S) or winter tires with a snowflake or alpine symbol, with a suggested 4mm of tread depth.
Please read our flyer Inclement Weather Guidance for an explanation of the requirement of winter tires in Germany.