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WEATHER

Austria army rescues snowbound German students

Austrian troops airlifted a group of German students stranded at a snowbound ski resort on Friday, as emergency services scrambled to clear record snowfall across large parts of the country.

Austria army rescues snowbound German students
Emergency workers clear heavy snowfall on Friday. Photo: DPA
The army said it used two helicopters to transport the group of 66 pupils and teachers from the central ski station of Kasberg in Gruenau. It had been cut off for days due to the heavy snowfall covering much of the west and centre of the country.
 
The group, from Dortmund in western Germany, arrived there last Saturday, but the station was forced to shut a few days ago due to the risk of avalanches, falling trees and power blackouts.
 
Austria has been hit by record snowfall for more than a week. Many roads have been impassable because of a lack of the road salt needed to grit them.
 
A break in the weather enabled soldiers, firefighters, other public employees and volunteers to clear some of the snow on Friday, but more is expected at the weekend.
 
Some 500 soldiers have been drafted in to clear roads and roofs in the most heavily affected areas, and a further 1,000 soldiers are on standby, the government said.
 
Much of the country is on its highest avalanche alert level, with seven skiers and snowshoe hikers having died since Saturday and two hikers missing. Most of the victims perished in avalanches but emergency services say two of them died when falling into deep snowdrifts and suffocating.
 
 
The women's World Cup downhill and Super G championships, scheduled to be held in St Anton this weekend, have also been called off.
 
Another resort, Loser, in the central region of Styria, was totally submerged in five metres of snow. 
 
The bad weather has also affected the south of Germany, where the army has also been called in to help. 
 
A number of motorists were trapped in their cars overnight on the A8 motorway to the south-east of Munich and 90 flights were grounded at Munich airport on Friday.
 
A nine-year-old boy was killed on Thursday by a tree that collapsed under the weight of the snow. 

WEATHER

Forecast: Austria faces sunny weekend but temperatures to drop next week

Despite recent sunny weather, people in Austria will have to brace for wintery temperatures in the coming days.

Forecast: Austria faces sunny weekend but temperatures to drop next week

On Friday, people in Austria woke up to a foggy day that quickly turned into an unexpectedly sunny day with mild temperatures. Still, the country’s weather is about to change, Austria’s meteorologic institute ZAMG said.

Saturday should still have some periods of sunshine, especially in the eastern half of the country – perfect for those who will take part in the Viennese Wine Hiking Day (Wiener Weinwandertag), as temperatures should stay around 15C to 18C during the day.

READ ALSO: Wiener Weinwandertag: Everything you need to know about Vienna’s ‘Wine Hiking Day’

In Vorarlberg and Tyrol, however, it may already start to rain, especially south and along the main ridge of the Alps.

Early temperatures in Austria are expected to be between one and eleven degrees, with lower values in the north and daytime highs of 15C to 21C.

Screenshot from ZAMG

On Sunday, dense clouds will dominate and rain is expected in many places. However, a few sunny spells are quite possible in between, most likely in the north and east of the country.

Mostly weak to moderate winds from south to west. Early temperatures will be between six and twelve degrees and daytime highs between 13 and 18 degrees.

READ ALSO: What’s on: Five things to do in Vienna this weekend

On Monday, sun and partly dense clouds will alternate. In the course of the day, there may be rain showers, especially in the mountains, where the clouds are often thicker.

Early temperatures will be between six and twelve degrees, with daily highs between 13C and 19C.

READ ALSO: Top tips to protect yourself from storms in Austria

Stormy weather from Tuesday

On Tuesday, the unsettled weather will continue. Although there may be sunny spells sometimes, clouds will predominate.

Rain showers are expected in all parts of the country, and it could rain for longer periods in some areas.

Early temperatures are between six and twelve degrees, and daily highs are between eleven and 17 degrees.

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