From sunshine to snow: A week of cold weather forecast in Austria

Austria enjoyed balmy weather at the weekend but this week will see a colder front move in with snow forecast for higher altitudes.

Austria's mountain peaks are set to get chilly from this week onwards. Photo by Paul Gilmore on Unsplash
Austria's mountain peaks are set to get chilly from this week onwards. Photo by Paul Gilmore on Unsplash

The message from the weather forecast for Austria this week is to pull out your winter coat and get ready for a blast of colder weather as autumn finally makes an appearance.

After an Indian Summer throughout most of September and a warm start to October that saw a low of 20.4 degrees on Sunday night, the warmth is set to give way to a mix of fog, rain, low temperatures and even snow.

From a southern Föhn to rain

On Sunday, a southern Föhn kept temperatures in the mid to high 20s in the Alps but by Monday afternoon the weather was cooling down and rain had set in. 

In the Danube and lowlands region, Monday morning started with fog before giving way to some sunshine.

On Tuesday, most parts of Austria will start with rain, particularly in the west and south of the country, with heavy rain predicted for East Tyrol and Upper Carinthia. There could even be thunderstorms in these regions.

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However, the sunshine is forecast to make an appearance in the east of the country once the fog has dissolved, although rain could arrive later in the day.

Rain is also forecast on Tuesday afternoon for Upper Austria and Upper Styria.

In the Alps, there could be a final blast of the southern Föhn on Tuesday afternoon with temperatures ranging from 13 to 26 degrees, and strong to stormy south-easterly winds in the eastern flatlands.

A blast of colder weather

On Wednesday the weather changes and the forecast is wet and gloomy with lower temperatures.

In the northern Alps snow is expected down to the low mountain ranges and temperatures will range from seven to 17 degrees. The mildest weather is forecast for the south east.

On Thursday, there will be a high of 15 degrees with heavy rain forecast in the mountains and the south east, but the entire country should expect rain at some point. In the northern Alps there will be snow above 1200 to 1500m.

More rain and cloud cover is forecast for Friday, especially from Tyrol to Burgenland, although it could brighten up in the far west and north. Temperatures on Friday will range between eight and 15 degrees.

Looking ahead to the weekend, brighter weather is forecast for most of Austria, but temperatures will be more autumnal with highs in the mid teens.

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Warm weather and bad traffic: What to expect in Austria this Ascension Day

As Austria heads into the long holiday weekend, the weather forecast looks good but travellers should expect busy trains and "heavy traffic" on roads.

Warm weather and bad traffic: What to expect in Austria this Ascension Day

Thursday, May 26th, is a public holiday in Austria to mark Ascension Day and many people across the country are planning a trip for the long weekend.

This means roads and trains will be busy as people travel back home to visit family or head to cities like Salzburg and Vienna. 

As a result, the ÖAMTC has warned motorists of “heavy traffic” at the weekend, especially from Wednesday to Friday and again on Sunday.

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Key cross-border and inter-Austria road routes to be affected

The West Autobahn (A1) that runs between Salzburg and Vienna via Linz is expected to be busy this weekend, as well as the Karawanken Tunnel that connects Austria and Slovenia.

ORF reports there is also potential for heavy traffic on the Tauern Autobahn (A10) between Hallein and Werfen in Salzburg, and the ÖAMTC is predicting the Fernpass route (B179) in Tyrol will be overloaded with motorists. 

Additionally, a triathlon is being held in St. Pölten on Sunday and the Daffodil Festival is taking place in the Salzkammergut from Thursday to Sunday. Both events will further add to congestion on roads in those regions.

Anyone travelling by car this weekend – or in fact any other weekend – can find out more about traffic levels on the route via the ÖAMTCs traffic calendar and route planner.

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Busy trains across Austria

Austria is currently experiencing high demand for train travel and this is expected to continue over the long holiday weekend.

To ensure a seat, national rail operator ÖBB is advising travellers to book a ticket in advance. However, ÖBB has also confirmed there will be an additional 10,000 seats available on Ascension Day (Thursday).

READ ALSO: ‘The pandemic is not over’: Vienna keeps mask rule in public transport

Sunshine and warm temperatures

Despite the high chance of busy roads and trains this weekend there is some good news in that the weather forecast for Austria is good.

On Ascension Day, the weather should be mostly dry with a mixture of sunshine and clouds with temperatures between 18 to 26 degrees. There is a possibility of thunder storms in the mountains and Vienna is expected to be windy.

On Friday, the maximum temperature is forecast to be between 20 to 29 degrees but the weekend will be cooler with temperatures hovering around 20 degrees across the country.