A white Christmas is a dream come true for many, but according to weather forecasts the only places in Austria where it can be guaranteed this year are where there is already snow.
This mostly means areas of Carinthia, Vorarlberg and Tyrol where there is already a decent blanket of snow on the ground from Austria’s record snowfall two weeks ago.
In Carinthia, there is currently 20cm of snow in low-lying areas like Feistritz ob Bleiburg, and in Dellach im Drautal there is 40cm of snow.
Meanwhile, in Schoppernau in the Bregenzerwald region of Vorarlberg there is almost half a metre of snow cover.
In Tyrol, ski resort towns in the Alps still have a thin covering of snow which is expected to stay throughout the Christmas period, although fresh snow is not forecast until next week.
Additionally, the snow is expected to stay in some parts of the Salzburg region, such as St. Johann in Pongau, Abtenau and Krimml, and in Zeltweg and Mariazell in Styria.
But in many low lying areas of Austria (including Vienna), there is a slim chance of more snowfall, so residents could be in for another “green Christmas” (in reference to green fields at Christmas).
Weather forecast for Christmas 2021
On Friday December 24th, most of the country is forecast for sunshine and clouds.
Some light rain is expected in Upper Austria in the morning and the temperature will range from a high of 10 degrees in Vienna to 1 degree in East Tyrol. In the Alps, the high is forecast to be around 7 degrees and there could be some freezing rain.
On Saturday December 25th, most of the country will have cloud cover with limited sunshine, and some rain is forecast in the east of the country. Snow is expected between 1,500 and 2,000m.
Has Austria’s weather changed?
In recent years, a white Christmas has become increasingly uncommon in Austria due to climate change and warming temperatures, with the chance of a white Christmas almost halved in the past few decades.
According to figures from the Central Institute for Meteorology and Geodynamics (ZAMG), St. Pölten in Lower Austria last experienced a white Christmas in 2007.
Linz, Salzburg, Graz, Bregenz and Klagenfurt haven’t had a white Christmas since December 24th in 2010, and Vienna and Eisenstadt have not had snow at Christmas since 2012.
It wasn’t always this way though and in the 1960s most of Austria enjoyed a white Christmas almost every year.