'Siberian cold': Austria's icy spell to continue with double-digit minus temperatures this weekend

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'Siberian cold': Austria's icy spell to continue with double-digit minus temperatures this weekend
People walk in front of the snow-covered memorial of Empress Maria Theresa. Photo: ALEX HALADA / AFP

Austria was in the grip of a period of sub-zero weather on Friday with the big chill forecast to continue over the weekend. Thermometers could dip well below minus 20C.


Austria has been hit by icy cold temperatures for much of the week.

Temperatures on Friday morning dipped to -22C in Dobersberg, a low lying town near the German border in the north east. 

The mercury was expected to rise slightly throughout the day to a cool -16C tonight.

The icy temperatures in the low-lying provinces of Bergenland, Carinthia and Styria felt much colder than the thermometer readings due to gusting winds of up to 40km/h.

Dobersberg’s low was expected to be matched on Friday night in St Jakob in Defereggen which stands at 1,400m altitude in mountainous East Tyrol near the Italian border.

On Saturday night, the temperature could plummet to -24C.


The cold temperatures are thanks to a blanket of cold air lying over central and eastern Europe, the result of a high pressure area centred on Norway. 

Vienna remained at a relatively balmy -10C on Friday morning despite being less than two hours from frigid Dobersberg.

Reports from the ground record real temperatures closer to minus six.

The record books have still to be challenged. The longest run of consecutive days below freezing in Vienna was 48, which took place in the winter of 1890/91.

In more recent times, the longest run was 14 days in January 2012.

The same year Tannheim in Tyrol, which lies at just over a thousand metres, hit  -28.9C.



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