Summer heat and thunderstorms: What to expect for Austria’s festival weekend

The weather in Austria is forecast to be hot and volatile as the country celebrates Father's Day, the Pride Parade and Nova Rock Festival.

Vienna pride parade
Participants attend the Rainbow Parade march, bringing together lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender and transsexual people, on June 15, 2013 in Vienna. AFP PHOTO / ALEXANDER KLEIN (Photo by ALEXANDER KLEIN / AFP)

Austria is heading into a weekend filled with big events, but residents should get ready for extreme heat, thunderstorms, and volatile weather, according to the country’s meteorological agency ZAMG.

The weekend kicks off with a rainy Friday in almost all of the country, although the sun will appear at times in the west and south. Afternoon temperatures are forecast to be between 15C and 24C with the rain easing off.

On Saturday, Austrian residents can expect sunny weather in most of the country, including in the capital Vienna, where the Pride Parade (Regenbodenparade) is taking place.

Burgenland, the host of the Nova Rock festival, will still have a sunny day and some overshadow by the afternoon.

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

Early temperatures are between 6C and 18C, but afternoon temperatures rise to between 20C and 28C.

Sunday should also be very sunny in most of the country, especially in the west. Temperatures are set to rise to 30C, bringing the summer feeling back. Enjoy the Sunday because, on Monday, the air pressure decreases and almost all of the country will have rain showers and even thunderstorms, according to ZAMG.

Austria’s eventful weekend

The warm weekend will be particularly eventful in Austria. On Friday, the Nova Rock Festival is returning to Burgenland after a two-year absence due to Covid.

Around 225,000 guests are expected at the sold-out event to see performances by Muse, Placebo, Seiler & Speer, Volbeat and Deichkind.

On Saturday, Vienna hosts the return of its Pride Parade, known as the Rainbow Parade (Regenbogenparade). The event had been taking place at a smaller scale due to the Covid-19 restrictions.

READ ALSO: What you need to know about Vienna Pride and Nova Rock festival this weekend

However, in 2022, more than 250,000 people are expected to join the parade and march through the city to celebrate the community.

The Rainbow Parade starts at the Wiener Ringstrasse at 2 pm.

Finally, Sunday is when Austria celebrates Father’s Day. No specific events or parties are expected, and the celebrations occur within each family. Many tend to enjoy the June weather and go for hikes and walks, and we will probably see loads of dads and families enjoying picnics and walks.

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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.