Freezing rain in central and southern Germany grounded hundreds of flights and restricted train traffic on Wednesday as the weather service warned of slippery roads and heavy snowfall.

At Frankfurt airport, 570 of the 1,047 scheduled arrivals and departures were cancelled, while 254 flights were scratched at Munich airport and a smaller airport in the southern city of Saarbruecken ceased operations completely.

The weather service warned of an extreme risk of black ice and heavy snowfall in the affect regions through Thursday.

German rail operator Deutsche Bahn warned of delays and cancellations in view of the winter weather, and said it was limiting the top speed for its high-speed ICE trains to 200 kilometres per hour as a precautionary measure. (Reporting by Anneli Palmen Writing by Miranda Murray Editing by Madeline Chambers)