Three hospitalized after lightning strike

Three German climbers were taken to hospital after being struck by lightning on the Hohen Dachstein near Gmunden on Friday afternoon. One of the men, aged 25, had to be recovered by helicopter.

Three hospitalized after lightning strike
Photo: APA

A total of four climbers – aged 25, 26, 31 and 33 – were descending the mountain when lightning struck the summit near the end of the safety line they were using, causing at least one to sustain moderate injuries.  

Three of them were taken to the nearby Schladming hospital in Styria.  A fourth man in their party was unharmed.

The admitting physician told the Austrian Press Association (APA) that the three should have recovered sufficiently to be released from hospital on Saturday.

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MAP: Where will storms hit Austria this weekend?

After five people died in severe storms on Thursday August 18th, Austria's meteorologists warn of more rainfall and strong winds over the weekend. Here's what you need to know.

MAP: Where will storms hit Austria this weekend?

Five people died when strong winds uprooted several trees in the southern states of Austria, and storms are forecast to hit the country this Friday (August 19th) and Saturday (20th), according to weather agency ZAMG.

This Friday, there are warnings for thunderstorms, rain, and heat in most of the country – especially the east and south. You can check ZAMG’s warning map here:

Weather warnings for Friday, August 19th (ZAMG)

The highest alert now in place is in the orange areas (close attention warning), where the “current weather can lead to risks, disturbances to everyday life and damage. Pay close attention to the ongoing weather forecasts”.

READ ALSO: Austria heading into a rainy and cooler weekend after heatwave peak

The yellow areas (caution warning) are places where “caution in the current weather circumstances is urged, but only isolated weather-related risks and/or damages are expected”, according to ZAMG.

It should continue to rain during the night in the west of Austria, especially near the Alps. In the rest of the country, the weather is also temporarily unstable and some rain, showers and thunderstorms are expected at night – reaching the far east then.

Rain but fewer thunderstorms on Saturday

On Saturday, the weather forecast is still for rain in most parts of the country, especially on the northern side of the Alps between Vorarlberg and Salzburg.

Later in the day, the rain should affect the eastern part of Austria, where it will be warmest, with temperatures of up to 28C expected.

Extreme weather alerts (attention warnings) are in place for the east of Austria, including Vienna and surroundings and Burgenland and the Innsbruck and Salzburg regions.

Weather warnings for Saturday, August 20th, in Austria (ZAMG)
On Sunday, there are still some residual clouds – and, therefore, possibly some rain, but no forecast for thunderstorms or any extreme weather warning by the ZAMG.

What to do in case of severe storms?

According to Die Helfer Wiens (The Helpers of Vienna), one of the most significant risks during a storm is being hit by a falling tree or flying debris.

For this reason, they advise people (and pets) to stay indoors during a storm as well as to close all windows and doors.

READ ALSO: Wild weather in Austria: How to protect yourself during summer storms

If staying in a tent or campervan, it’s also advisable to seek shelter in a building (if possible) until the storm has passed.

The same goes for those walking or driving, and authorities say the best advice is to stay away from the forest or areas with lots of trees during a storm.

Don’t underestimate the risks. The recent deadly storm lasted only for ten minutes but caused destruction in valleys and just a few (but strong) gusts of wind had fatal consequences.

Even if there was no extreme weather warning for your region, take the necessary care – Thursday’s thunderstorm in Carinthia came with no warning due to an extremely rare mixture of factors. The atypical heat led to even stronger winds.

“To a certain extent, thunderstorms are unpredictable”, said ZAMG Klagenfurt head Christian Stefan. As a result, the weather institute had only a yellow warning for the southern Carinthia region early on Thursday.

Useful vocabulary

Wind – Wind
Rain – Regen
Thunderstorm – Gewitter
Heat Stress – Hitze
Caution – Vorsicht
Attention – Achtung