Spring weather arrives in Austria for the weekend

Unseasonably warm weather in Austria is expected to last into the weekend with a forecast for mild temperatures and plenty of sunshine.

Spring weather arrives in Austria for the weekend
Spring-like weather is forecast for Austria this weekend. (Photo by JOE KLAMAR / AFP)

Austria has been hit by snow, sleet and cold temperatures in the past week but spring-like weather has now arrived.

On Thursday in Vienna, the daytime high was forecast to be 14 degrees with mild weather set to continue across the country into the weekend, according to the Central Institute for Meteorology and Geodynamics (ZAMG).

On Friday morning, all regions will enjoy sunshine and blue sky with the possibility of fog in the alpine valleys. The morning will be cold but by midday the temperatures will range from three to 12 degrees.

By Friday evening, rain is expected across many parts of the country as clouds roll in, with the possibility of some snow in the Alps.

On Saturday, sunshine and clouds is forecast for most regions with light wind and afternoon temperatures ranging from minus one to plus eight. On Sunday, the sunshine will continue with nationwide temperatures forecast to be between five and 11 degrees. 

READ MORE: EXPLAINED: The Covid rules you need to know if you’re skiing in Austria

In the alpine regions, where many families are currently enjoying school holidays, the weekend weather will bring sunshine, some cloud and daytime temperatures of between five and seven degrees. 

From Monday, rain is forecast across the west of the country (with snow down to 800 metres above sea level), while the east of Austria will stay dry and sunny. Midday temperatures will be between four and 12 degrees.

A strong Föhn wind is also expected in the South East and South West on Monday, especially on the south side of the Alps. 

On Tuesday, a low pressure front will arrive and heavy rain is forecast from Upper Carinthia to Burgenland.

The weekend warm spell is being dubbed a “mini spring” by meteorologists and has already led to early pollen warnings for allergy sufferers.

However, it is expected that winter is simply on pause right now and colder weather will return to Austria soon.

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Europe facing record year for wildfire destruction: 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.

Europe facing record year for wildfire destruction: 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.