Weather warning: Snow and rain to hit large parts of Austria

Despite bouts of sunny weather, the cold will continue and snow is expected to arrive in Austria this week. Here's what you can expect.

Pictured is a car in Norway in snowy conditions.
Pictured is a car in snowy conditions. Photo by Anton Khmelnitsky on Unsplash

On Wednesday, a cold front from the west is reaching Austria, and expected to spread on Thursday, bringing heavy rains and snow, according to UBIMET weather experts.

On the mountains, more significant amounts of new snow will accumulate once again. The rains will gradually decrease at the weekend, but temperatures are still cold for mid-April. 

From the middle of the night to Thursday, rain and snowfall will spread to large parts of the country, from Vorarlberg over the Salzburg region to the Mühlviertel and later also from East Tyrol to Lower Carinthia it will rain or snow, sometimes heavily. 

READ ALSO: Top tips to protect yourself from storms in Austria

The snow line will gradually drop to about 800 to 1000 m, so a few centimetres of fresh snow can be expected in the central and western mountainous areas.

On Thursday, there will be frequent heavy rain, especially in the south, with the snow line fluctuating between 700 and 1000 metres. Therefore, large amounts of fresh snow is expected, especially in the central and southern mountainous regions.

From Vorarlberg to Upper Austria, the rain will decrease during the day, but the sun will appear at most in the far west for a short time. The wind north of the Alps will be moderate to brisk from westerly directions.

Weather warning in Austria for rain and snow (Screenshot: ZAMG)

On Friday, heavy rain from Salzburg across the Mostviertel eastward, especially in the Waldviertel and Weinviertel. The snow line will rise to about 900 metres. In the west and south, some precipitation will fall at first, but it will dry up during the day with a few sunny intervals, most likely in the Rhine and Inn valleys. 

READ ALSO: What is Austria’s official emergency-warning phone app, and do I need it?

Austria’s meteorologic institute ZAMG also warns of the rain and snow arriving as early as Thursday and winter conditions continuing over the weekend. 

Winter tyres

Until Saturday, April 15th, people in Austria driving their cars need to have fitted winter tyres (or proper equipment) if they are driving in “winter conditions”. That includes snow or ice water. 

READ ALSO:  Everything you need to know about driving in Austria in winter

Since the weather over winter had been relatively mild, with less snow, many decided to change their tyres for summer ones before mid-April, but that could be risky depending on the situation, especially near the Alps, where fresh snow is expected for the coming days. 

You can read more about winter and summer tyre regulations HERE.

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More records were broken on Wednesday night and Thursday morning as violent storms ended Austria’s latest heatwave – one which scientists say is putting the country on pace for one of its hottest-ever years.

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As the summer weather ended, Vienna had its most active night of lightning since August 2021.

Meanwhile, Langenlois in Lower Austria saw record rainfall, while fire brigades in Lower Austria were sent out to 90 separate calls. Fire crews worked to pump out water to prevent flooding as streams overflowed their banks, and to remove downed trees from roads. Some areas were pounded with hail.

2023 on track to be one of the warmest on Austrian records

As the storms end the recent September heatwave, Geosphere Austria climatologists say this month will already record average temperatures that are above normal. With that, there’s a good chance 2023 will end up being one of the warmest since records started being kept in Austria 256 years ago.

All that’s needed is for October, November, and December temperatures to remain at the same level we’ve seen for the last three years, a fairly probable event, according to the Geosphere Austria experts.

Even if the weather in the last three months of the year turns cooler than normal, there’s been enough summer heat that 2023 will probably still make the top five of warmest years ever recorded in Austria.

Most of the 25 hottest years recorded in Austria have been seen in recent decades.

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