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
People sit in the sun at the Danube canal in Vienna, Austria on May 5, 2022. (Photo by JOE KLAMAR / AFP)

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.

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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.

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MAP: Where will storms hit Austria this weekend?

After five people died in severe storms on Thursday August 18th, Austria's meteorologists warn of more rainfall and strong winds over the weekend. Here's what you need to know.

MAP: Where will storms hit Austria this weekend?

Five people died when strong winds uprooted several trees in the southern states of Austria, and storms are forecast to hit the country this Friday (August 19th) and Saturday (20th), according to weather agency ZAMG.

This Friday, there are warnings for thunderstorms, rain, and heat in most of the country – especially the east and south. You can check ZAMG’s warning map here:

Weather warnings for Friday, August 19th (ZAMG)

The highest alert now in place is in the orange areas (close attention warning), where the “current weather can lead to risks, disturbances to everyday life and damage. Pay close attention to the ongoing weather forecasts”.

READ ALSO: Austria heading into a rainy and cooler weekend after heatwave peak

The yellow areas (caution warning) are places where “caution in the current weather circumstances is urged, but only isolated weather-related risks and/or damages are expected”, according to ZAMG.

It should continue to rain during the night in the west of Austria, especially near the Alps. In the rest of the country, the weather is also temporarily unstable and some rain, showers and thunderstorms are expected at night – reaching the far east then.

Rain but fewer thunderstorms on Saturday

On Saturday, the weather forecast is still for rain in most parts of the country, especially on the northern side of the Alps between Vorarlberg and Salzburg.

Later in the day, the rain should affect the eastern part of Austria, where it will be warmest, with temperatures of up to 28C expected.

Extreme weather alerts (attention warnings) are in place for the east of Austria, including Vienna and surroundings and Burgenland and the Innsbruck and Salzburg regions.

Weather warnings for Saturday, August 20th, in Austria (ZAMG)
On Sunday, there are still some residual clouds – and, therefore, possibly some rain, but no forecast for thunderstorms or any extreme weather warning by the ZAMG.

What to do in case of severe storms?

According to Die Helfer Wiens (The Helpers of Vienna), one of the most significant risks during a storm is being hit by a falling tree or flying debris.

For this reason, they advise people (and pets) to stay indoors during a storm as well as to close all windows and doors.

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

If staying in a tent or campervan, it’s also advisable to seek shelter in a building (if possible) until the storm has passed.

The same goes for those walking or driving, and authorities say the best advice is to stay away from the forest or areas with lots of trees during a storm.

Don’t underestimate the risks. The recent deadly storm lasted only for ten minutes but caused destruction in valleys and just a few (but strong) gusts of wind had fatal consequences.

Even if there was no extreme weather warning for your region, take the necessary care – Thursday’s thunderstorm in Carinthia came with no warning due to an extremely rare mixture of factors. The atypical heat led to even stronger winds.

“To a certain extent, thunderstorms are unpredictable”, said ZAMG Klagenfurt head Christian Stefan. As a result, the weather institute had only a yellow warning for the southern Carinthia region early on Thursday.

Useful vocabulary

Wind – Wind
Rain – Regen
Thunderstorm – Gewitter
Heat Stress – Hitze
Caution – Vorsicht
Attention – Achtung