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Heatwave in Austria: Temperatures to top 36C from Monday

Extreme heat and thunderstorms are expected in Austria on Monday evening with temperatures set to remain high throughout the week.

Heatwave in Austria: Temperatures to top 36C from Monday
People walk past a curtain of water at the Praterstern Square in Vienna during a heatwave. (Photo by ALEX HALADA / AFP)

The week starts hot and rainy in Austria, with the heatwave forecast to see temperatures hit 35C in parts of the country on Monday, according to Austria’s Central Institute for Meteorology and Geodynamics (ZAMG).

There is also a high risk of thunderstorms, especially on Monday afternoon and Friday.

High air pressure and subtropical hot air masses provide plenty of sunshine and summer temperatures on Monday. The sun will shine in a cloudless sky in most of the country, but some clouds might form over the Alps during the day. Thunderstorms are expected by the evening, especially in Tyrol, Vorarlberg, and Salzburg.

READ ALSO: How to keep your apartment cool in Austria this summer amid rising energy prices

In the morning, temperatures will already hit 25C in the West, and Vienna will have a maximum of 35C.

On Tuesday, unstable air masses from southwestern Europe reach Austria, ZAMG alerts. They should bring clouds, rain showers, and thunderstorms, especially on the southern side of the Alps.

Mornings will be between 15C to 23C, with temperatures reaching 33C during the day.

In the middle of the week, ZAMG says there will likely be rain showers and thunderstorms in Austria. Therefore, there is an alert for extreme weather as the storms can get heavy. The early temperatures are between 15C and 23C, but the daily maximum varies greatly, with 23C expected in the west and about 36C in the east of Austria.

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

While Thursday should be sunny with midsummer weather, and no thunderstorms in most of the country, Friday brings a “striking disturbance zone”, ZAMG says.

According to the institute, it is not possible to estimate how far the zone will progress eastwards. Still, the unstable weather will mean showers, thunderstorms, and declining temperatures, especially for Vorarlberg to Upper Austria.

READ ALSO: The best festivals and events to enjoy in Austria this summer

The daily maximum temperatures also vary regionally, with 22C in the west but 35C in the east. 

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WILDFIRES

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.

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