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Thunderstorm warning for Friday evening and weekend in Austria

Austria - and in particular Vienna - is set for a weekend of wild weather, with thunderstorm warnings from Friday onwards.

Thunderstorm warning for Friday evening and weekend in Austria
Photo by Breno Machado on Unsplash

Austria’s Central Institute for Meteorology and Geodynamics (ZAMG) has forecast thunderstorms for Vienna and much of the country as warm and unstable weather continues to sweep the country. 

The warm weather means that in between thunderstorms, the sun is expected to shine bright across much of the country. 

There will be temperatures of between 13 and 20 during the mornings, with daily highs of 26 to 33 degrees across much of the country. 

The ZAMG on Friday hit Vienna with a “Yellow Weather Warning”, which indicates caution is advised as thunderstorms and heavy rain will hit the city. 

The poor weather will continue into the weekend.

From Saturday, the weather is set to be unstable in mountainous regions, while from Sunday sun showers can be expected across the country along with “violent thunderstorms” in the east of the country. 

2021 sets record for lightning

The summer of 2021 has already set an all-time record for lighting across Austria. 

There has been more than one million lightning bolts recorded across Austria by the end of July, which is above the average for each year – meaning Austria is on course for the most bolts ever in a single summer. 

Upper Austria has received the highest number of bolts, with 406,000 in that state alone. 

In addition to the record lightning, there has also been record-breaking heat, drought, floods, mudslides and the risk of forest fires. 

Manfred Spatzierer, chief forecaster at the , says that this may be the “new normal” for weather in Austria and across much of Central Europe. 

“This may well be a taste of the new normal in the weather in Central Europe”, said Spatzierer.  

“Nothing is easy with the weather, and even so you cannot blame this accumulation of various types of storms directly on climate change”.

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WILDFIRES

2022 sees record wildfire destruction in Europe: EU

Europe's blistering summer may not be over yet, but 2022 is already breaking records, with nearly 660,000 hectares ravaged since January, according to the EU's satellite monitoring service.

2022 sees record wildfire destruction in Europe: EU

And while countries on the Mediterranean have normally been the main seats of fires in Europe, this year, other countries are also suffering heavily.

Fires this year have forced people to flee their homes, destroyed buildings and burned forests in EU countries, including Austria, Croatia, France, Greece, Italy, Portugal and Spain.

Some 659,541 hectares (1.6 million acres) have been destroyed so far, data from the European Forest Fire Information System (EFFIS) showed, setting a record at this point in the year since data collection began in 2006.

Europe has suffered a series of heatwaves, forest fires and historic drought that experts say are being driven by human-induced climate change.

They warn more frequent and longer heatwaves are on the way.

The worst-affected country has been Spain, where fire has destroyed 244,924 hectares, according to EFFIS data.

The EFFIS uses satellite data from the EU’s Copernicus Atmosphere Monitoring Service (CAMS).

READ ALSO: EXPLAINED: How the climate crisis is hitting Europe hard

The data comes after CAMS said Friday that 2022 was a record year for wildfire activity in southwestern Europe and warned that a large proportion of western Europe was now in “extreme fire danger”.

“2022 is already a record year, just below 2017,” EFFIS coordinator Jesus San-Miguel said. In 2017, 420,913 hectares had burned by August 13, rising to 988,087 hectares by the end of the year.

“The situation in terms of drought and extremely high temperatures has affected all of Europe this year and the overall situation in the region is worrying, while we are still in the middle of the fire season,” he said.

Since 2010, there had been a trend towards more fires in central and northern Europe, with fires in countries that “normally do not experience fires in their territory”, he added.

“The overall fire season in the EU is really driven mainly by countries in the Mediterranean region, except in years like this one, in which fires also happen in central and northern regions,” he added.

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