Trees are likely to be uprooted. File photo: Paul Gillingwater
Post-Christmas storms are expected to bring damage with high winds in the last working days before the New Year, according to the Austrian Weather Bureau.
Wind speeds across much of the country are expected to reach from 80 km/h to 100 km/h, according to Ubimet. In elevated regions, winds in excess of 130 km/h are forecast, as a result of a storm named Barbara.
The warning has been assigned level Red, which means a range of expected impacts, including:
* Trees can be uprooted, breaking down larger branches.
* Roofs and chimneys can be damaged, even larger objects can become airborne, signs and advertising boards fall.
* Great difficulty walking and cycling.
* Considerable problems when traveling with vehicles with large air resistance or with trailers.
* Electricity and telephone can temporarily fail.
* Impairments in road and rail traffic, sometimes also in aviation and shipping.
The storms are expected to hit Tuesday afternoon, and to last until Thursday evening, with wind speeds increasing.
Some public parks are being closed, with warning signs about the risk of falling branches. The large ice rink in front of Vienna's town hall reports that it may close as the winds increase, due to the risk of branches from nearby trees.
A large amount of snow, up to one meter deep in places, is expected to fall in the Salzburg region.
The weather service Ubimet issued a list of recommendations to deal with the stormy conditions, including:
* Avoid forest areas or larger trees.
* Expect considerable delays in buses and trains.
* Avoid unnecessary driving, especially with vehicles that provide the wind with large attack surfaces.
* Do not park your car next to a tree.
* Be prepared for flying objects and falling roof tiles.
* Close windows and doors.
* Attach loose objects (flower pots, garden furniture, sunshades etc.) or place them in enclosed areas.
Those in the mountains are warned to expected large snow drifts, with a greatly increased risk of avalanche. In the low-lying areas, between 300 and 500 mm of rain is expected. Temperatures are expected to remain above freezing, with from two to eight degrees Centigrade forecast in Vienna.