Austria’s record drought set to end as rain and snow rolls in

Some parts of Austria haven't had rain for six weeks - an historic winter dry spell since records began. But the weather is about to change with rain and cooler temperatures from Wednesday.

Austria's record drought set to end as rain and snow rolls in
Rain is forecast for Austria this week after a long unseasonal drought. (Photo by ALEXANDER KLEIN / AFP)

Monday was the warmest day of the year so far in Austria with temperatures passing 20 degrees in Leibnitz in southern Styria.

But from Wednesday, clouds will bring lower temperatures after the sunniest and driest March since 1953.

By Wednesday evening, rain is then forecast for most of the country (except Vienna, Lower Austria and Styria), ending a weeks-long record drought and bringing welcome relief to farmers.

On Thursday, every region in Austria will receive rain before it turns to snow on Friday and Saturday at higher altitudes in Salzburg, Styria, Tyrol and Vorarlberg, according to the Central Institution for Meteorology and Geodynamics (ZAMG).

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On Saturday there could even be sleet in Vienna as the temperature drops to a high of three degrees. The snow line on Saturday will be between 300 and 500 metres, just a week after many ski resorts closed for the season.

In some parts of Austria, the temperature at the weekend will be 20 degrees colder than at the start of the week.

A welcome end to the drought

Farmers across the country will welcome the rain after weeks of drought, although the coming wet weather is not expected to be enough to compensate for the recent unseasonal dry spell, as reported by ORF.

The record-breaking drought even resulted in forest fires in parts of of the Alps during the past month, despite snow still coating the mountains.

Both Salzburg and Innsbruck were the sunniest provincial capital cities in March with almost 250 hours of sunshine. In Salzburg, that is more sunshine than an average July.

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30C: Austria set for first heatwave of the year

Early summer weather reaches the Alpine country in the coming days, with temperatures as high as 30C in the coming days.

30C: Austria set for first heatwave of the year

Austria is set to experience its first heatwave of the year, with temperatures rising to 30C (86F) in several states, according to forecasts from Austria’s Central Institution for Meteorology and Geodynamics (ZAMG).

Already this Wednesday, the Western state of Tyrol will see high temperatures ranging from 25C to 30C. The state residents can also expect a lot of sunshine throughout the day.

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This Thursday, Styria will be affected by the high temperatures, getting the warmest day of the year so far. In the southeast, it will be up to 30C, and in Upper Styria, 24C to 29C. In all other states, including Vienna, temperatures can get as high as 29C.

With rain expected to fall over the entire country on Friday, temperatures will drop again.

The beginning of the weekend should see a maximum of 26C in East Tyrol. Also on Saturday, as thunderstorms affect mainly the West of Austria.

READ ALSO: Six of the best things to do in spring in Vienna

On Sunday, though, the sun is expected to shine again in most of the country. Maximum temperatures should be between 25C and 28C, according to ZAMG.