Austria experiencing coldest January in 11 years

Austria is currently experiencing its coldest January in 11 years, according to meteorologists, with temperatures as low as -20C in parts of the country this week.

Austria experiencing coldest January in 11 years
Photo: Noclador/Wikimedia

Many people will have noticed the bitterly cold conditions on their way to work this morning. According to the Central Institute of Meteorology and Geodynamics (ZAMG), the lowest temperature, -17C, was measured in Styria – making it colder even than Canada!

The next few days will do little to warm the spirits, with ZAMG predicting early morning temperatures of -19C and daytime temperatures of just 0C. The coldest temperatures this month were recorded in East Tyrol, Lungau and Upper Carinthia. The average temperature so far this month was just -5.8C.

The outlook for the weekend remains frosty, with morning temperatures of around -15C in the countryside – a perfect excuse for a long lie-in. And if you do venture outside for any amount of time don’t forget to wrap up warm with a hat, gloves, scarf, and warm boots.


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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.