Austria set for severe winter spell with minus 25C forecast

Winter weather is set to hit Austria this week, with larger than average snowfalls and temperatures as low as minus 25C forecast for some parts of the country.

Austria set for severe winter spell with minus 25C forecast
Snow and cold temperatures will get up close and personal this week. Photo: ALEX HALADA / AFP

Austria’s Central Institution for Meteorology and Geodynamics (ZAMG) has predicted serious cold snaps across the country to send the mercury plunging in the mountains and in the cities. 

According to the Austrian Severe Weather Center, large parts of the country are set for severe winter weather this week and into the weekend. 

Around three month’s worth of snow has already fallen in the east of the country, primarily from the Ötztal Alps over the Brenner to East Tyrol, Carinthia and Lungau. 

Mallnitz and Lienz have also seen significant snowfalls, around six to eight times more than average. 

Cold snap in the northern Alps

High pressure systems bringing high fog are expected until mid-week, with the temperatures set to drop in the later part of the week and towards the weekend as icy wind moves in from Russia in the north east. 

The northern Alps areas along with the valleys will expect lows between -15C and -20C, while temperatures may hit -25 in some alpine valleys. 

Along the plains, the temperatures will also drop although not as far, with weather in the cities of Vienna, Salzburg, Linz and Graz to be between -5C and -2C on the weekend. 


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Winter weather set to make a comeback in Austria

Just as thermometers reached double digits, cooler temperatures are about to hit Austria again, and the Alps could see fresh snow over the weekend.

Winter weather set to make a comeback in Austria

Austrians were ready to embrace spring weather, with temperatures reaching 20C in the last couple of days. However, winter is about to make a comeback at least for now, according to the forecast of Geosphere Austria, the country’s meteorologic institute.

Initially, it will be very mild once again, but from Friday, the weather will become more unsettled and a significant cooling is expected, with rain or snow on the northern side of the Alps. 

Particularly on Monday it will cool down even further and it will be stormy in most parts of the country, the institute said.

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Cloudy weekend

Saturday will alternate with sun and a few denser clouds until the evening. Especially in the mountainous and hilly areas, rain showers are to be expected with a snow line around 1,500 metres above sea level.

Early temperatures will range from 2C to 1C, with daytime highs from 11C to 17C.

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From the west, more clouds will move in on Sunday and especially in the mountains there will be some showers, and there could be more rain in the afternoon.

In the evening, clouds will begin to break up in the west. Winds will be light to moderate, and at higher altitudes it will be brisk. Early temperatures will range from 1C to 8C, with daytime highs from 9C to 18C.

Sunny but cold spells on Monday

Clouds will continue to move through on Monday, with sunny spells. On the northern side of the Alps, the clouds will remain mostly dense all day and it will rain or snow, the snow line will drop from initially around 700 metres to low elevations. 

Away from the northern areas, there will be short showers. The wind is set to shift from west to northwest and it could even be stormy. Early temperatures will only reach -1C to 7C, with daily highs of 4C to 13C. Lower temperatures are expected on the northern side of the Alps. The highest temperatures are in the southeast.

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On Tuesday, the weather calms down a bit, with fewer clouds and storms. However, on the northern side of the Alps, dense clouds will persist and it will still snow at times. Away from the mountains, short showers will continue with some bursts of sunshine.

The snow line will be at low altitudes, in the west it will gradually rise to around 400 metres in the afternoon. Early temperatures of -6C to 0C and daytime highs of 4C to 8C are expected.