Storm Egon to bring fresh snow and colder conditions to Austria

Storm "Egon" is heading towards Austria, bringing colder temperatures and more snow.

Storm Egon to bring fresh snow and colder conditions to Austria
Snow in Vienna. Photo: Paul Gillingwater

Germany was lashed by hurricane-force winds and snow on Friday, leaving at least one driver dead, thousands without power and more than 100 flights cancelled.

After milder temperatures in Austria in the last few days, the mercury will drop and mountainous regions will see heavy snowfall – up to 60cm in some alpine areas. 

Carinthia and Styria will also have plenty of snow over the weekend – with Klagenfurt and Graz forecast to have up to 15cm of fresh snow. Several accidents have already been reported in Carinthia due to the snowy conditions. 

At altitudes of 800 metres, up to 40cm of snow is expected. Snow is also forecast north of the Alps, from Vorarlberg to the south of Lower Austria. The capital, Vienna, may also get a light blanket of the white stuff. 

On Sunday, maximum temperatures in Austria won’t be above 0C, and temperatures will continue to fall next week.



What are the chances of a white Christmas in Austria this year?

Yes, it's a bit early for Christmas weather forecasts, but it hasn't stopped meteorologists making predictions. Here's what they have to say about the possibility of snow in Austria this Christmas.

What are the chances of a white Christmas in Austria this year?

In less than a month it will be Christmas Eve and the suspense is rising on whether there will be a white Christmas, especially at low altitudes, broadcaster ORF said.

The weather models do not yet reach that far, but ORF Vorarlberg meteorologist Thomas Rinderer has looked at the statistics in a bid to predict the snowfall this year.

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On average, there is a white Christmas in Bregenz every three to six years. The last time was in 2011, so statistically speaking, a white Christmas in the Rhine Valley would be more than overdue.

However, the first long-term forecasts see a relatively mild winter overall, so it’s unlikely that an extremely cold winter is imminent. This follows the warmest October in Austria since records began although, according to ORF meteorologists, “surprises are still possible”.

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This is because even in a mild winter there can still be a lot of snow. 

The Copernicus climate change service of the EU is predicting winter will be dry from France to Germany, but the Mediterranean area will be humid. This can lead to precipitation moving up from Italy into Austria where it’s likely to become snow.

Last year, some parts of Austria (especially in the west) enjoyed a white Christmas after a cold December and plenty of snowfall. This year, many regions in the Alps are already coated in snow although temperatures are set to rise next week.

We’ll keep you updated on the forecasts in the coming weeks.