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
The holiday weekend weather forecast for Austria is good but travellers should prepare for delays. (Photo by JOE KLAMAR / AFP)

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.

READ MORE: Reader question: Will Austrian trains soon require seat reservations?

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.

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Sun then thunderstorms: Extreme weekend weather forecast for Austria

Summer brings extreme weather events in Austria, with storms causing damage and temperatures rising above 35C.

Sun then thunderstorms: Extreme weekend weather forecast for Austria

The next few days will have unstable weather in Austria, with severe thunderstorms and extreme heat, according to Austria’s Central Institute for Meteorology and Geodynamics (ZAMG).

Thunderstorms start on Friday throughout the country, especially in the north and south regions. Temperatures are higher in the East, with Burgenland seeing up to 36C. In the east, a cold front will bring down the temperatures to 18C in Vorarlberg and 23C in Tyrol.

READ ALSO: Everything that changes in Austria in July 2022

Friday evening will be colder all over Austria, with minimum temperatures of 12C in the west and 17C in the east.

Sunny and hot weekend ahead

On Saturday, there will be lots of sunshine in all of Austria, with only a few clouds in Tyrol. Temperatures rise to 30C during the day and wind blows weakly to moderately, according to ZAMG.

READ ALSO: Heatwave: Nine of the coolest places in Austria

Sunday will also be a sunny day, with few clouds in parts of the country. However, after a fresh morning, with minimum temperatures of 13C in Salzburg and Upper Austria, the heat comes back and thermometers will mark about 30C in most of Austria.

The institute said that clouds could form and develop into small-scale heat thunderstorms.

READ ALSO: Five of the best things to do in Vienna this summer

Rainy week from Monday

Starting Monday, there is a change in the weather. At least temporary sunshine should show up, but more and more clouds will be noticeable, especially in the west. The region will gradually see some rain showers and thunderstorms. Only the eastern and southern states should not expect rain.

READ ALSO: Wild weather in Austria: How to protect yourself during summer storms

Temperatures are still high, though, with a maximum of 33C in Burgenland and a minimum of 15C in parts of Tyrol, Salzburg, and Styria.

On Tuesday, there will be rain all over Austria, though some sunny phases may alternate with the rain showers. Especially in the south and parts of the east, thunderstorms can be expected. Wind over the Danube valley will be stronger than in the rest of Austria.

The early temperatures are between 12C and 21C, while afternoon temperatures can be between 22C and 30C.