The annual Rose Monday parade, featuring satirical floats poking fun at world leaders, is usually the highlight of Germany's carnival season, but stormy weather forced many cities to cancel the festivities.

Duesseldorf, Mainz, Muenster, Duisburg and Essen called off their processions because of a storm that was predicted to hit western Germany, with winds gusting up to 100 kilometres per hour.

Although rain stopped play, photographers managed to capture photos of the floats, many of which referred to Germany's handling of the refugee crisis.

Rose Monday carnival
A carnival float depicts German Chancellor Angela Merkel capsizing on a wave of refugeesRalph Orlowski/Reuters
Rose Monday carnival
A carnival float depicts the Statue of Liberty thumbing her nose at Republican presidential candidate Donald TrumpRalph Orlowski/Reuters
Rose Monday carnival
A carnival float depicts Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan toasting an Islamic State fighter with the blood of KurdsRalph Orlowski/Reuters
Rose Monday carnival
A carnival float depicting a clown facing an Islamist fighter is pictured in front of the city hall in DuesseldorfRalph Orlowski/Reuters
Rose Monday carnival
A carnival float depicts Bavaria's State Premier Horst Seehofer who tried to close the border to refugeesRalph Orlowski/Reuters
Rose Monday carnival
A carnival float depicting Jaroslaw Kaczynski, Poland's prime minster and leader of the right-wing Law and Justice party oppressing PolandPatrik Stollarz/AFP
Rose Monday carnival
A carnival float depicts one of the German federal eagle wings burning due to attacks on refugee sheltersPatrik Stollarz/AFP
Rose Monday carnival
A float depicts a red devil with a legend reading "Death of Retail - Amazon"Patrik Stollarz/AFP
Rose Monday carnival
Two spectators stand in an empty grandstand after the Rose Monday parade was called off in DuesseldorfRalph Orlowski/Reuters
Rose Monday carnival
The deserted route of the Rose Monday (Rosenmontag) street parade in DuesseldorfPatrik Stollarz/AFP
Rose Monday carnival
A carnival reveller holds on to his headdress in high winds in DuesseldorfRalph Orlowski/Reuters
Rose Monday carnival
A carnival reveller shelters from the rain after the Rose Monday parade in Mainz was cancelledKai Pfaffenbach/Reuters
Rose Monday carnival
A carnival reveller, wearing a plastic rain cover, is pictured after the Rose Monday parade was called off in MainzKai Pfaffenbach/Reuters

Cologne went ahead with its parade but has banned horses, large puppets and flags from the event for safety reasons. Aside from the weather, authorities in Cologne placed a particular focus on security this year, to prevent a repeat of the string of robberies and sexual assaults that occurred in the city at New Year.

More than one million people are expected to attend events in Cologne for carnival week, which began with Women's Day on Thursday 7 February.

Rose Monday carnival
Carnival revellers are reflected in a puddle during the annual Rose Monday parade in CologneVolker Hartmann/Getty Images
Rose Monday carnival
Carnival revellers protect themselves from the heavy rain in Cologne during the annual Rose Monday paradeVolker Hartmann/Getty Images
Rose Monday carnival
A float symbolising right wing parties attacking democracy is seen during the annual Rose Monday parade in CologneVolker Hartmann/Getty Images
Rose Monday carnival
A float depicting a sad-looking Angela Merkel makes its way through the streets of CologneVolker Hartmann/Getty Images
Rose Monday carnival
People celebrate in the rain during the Rose Monday parade in CologneVolker Hartmann/Getty Images
Rose Monday carnival
Migrants from Syria hold their national flag outside the cathedral in CologneWolfgang Rattay/Reuters
Rose Monday carnival
Police officers keep watch during Cologne's annual Rose Monday paradeVolker Hartmann/Getty Images
Rose Monday carnival
A police officer with a teddy bear in his uniform pocket patrols during the Rose Monday parade in CologneWolfgang Rattay/Reuters
Rose Monday carnival
Carnival musicians wearing plastic rain covers over their uniforms relieve themselves in the bushes before taking take part in the Rose Monday parade in CologneWolfgang Rattay/Reuters

Rose Monday celebrations in Mainz and Duesseldorf will be postponed to a later date.