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January could break 30-year record for cold weather in Austria

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January could break 30-year record for cold weather in Austria
Snow in Innsbruck. File photo: Vonne Yang/Flickr
10:28 CET+01:00
Icy temperatures could make this month Austria’s coldest January in 30 years, according to the ORF weather forecasters.

On Monday average temperatures across the country were -6C. If temperatures remain this low for the rest of the month, it will be the coldest January since 1987. Back then the average temperature was -6.9, according to the Central Institute for Meteorology and Geodynamics (ZAMG).

1985 was a particularly cold January, with average temperatures of just -8.2C.

December 2016 was relatively mild, and it remains to be seen if the cold weather will endure through February. Last January was changeable, with two cold phases and temperatures of -10C in some parts of the country, but springlike conditions in the east with 19.3C recorded in Wiener Neustadt. In January 2015 Graz had a record temperature of 21.7C. This year it’s a different story, with temperatures below average (as low as -12.3C) for the past seven days in Vienna alone. Other state capitals have been even colder, with Salzburg recording a low of -17.7C.

It’s also been a good month for snow and winter sports enthusiasts. Many parts of Austria currently have good snow cover, particularly the northern side of the Alps, Upper Styria and large parts of the west.

There’s not been much snow in low-lying eastern areas, the south-west of Carinthia or lower parts of East Tyrol - with ski resorts there still reliant on snow machines.

The cold weather looks set to continue, with temperatures as low as -19C forecast. Dense fog is also expected across much of the country on Tuesday, particularly in Flachgau, Upper and Lower Austria, Vienna and Burgenland. Mountainous areas will have the best of the sunshine.

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