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Heatwave in Austria: What to do as temperatures hit 40C

With thermometers currently measuring a mild 20C to 25C in most of Austria, it's hard to imagine that next week's temperatures could reach 40C. Here is how to prepare for the July heatwave.

Heatwave in Austria: What to do as temperatures hit 40C
An electronic board reads 37 degrees celsius during a hot sunny day in Vienna on July 1, 2012. - Austria could see such high temperatures next week. (Photo by ALEXANDER KLEIN / AFP)

The highest temperatures in Austria over the weekend and early week have been around 25C, with most of the country relatively cloudy and breezy. It’s hard to imagine that in just a few days, thermometers will mark closer to 30C and, next week, closer to scorching 40C.

The good news is that this means there is still time to prepare for the blazing heatwave set to reach the otherwise tranquil alpine country.

How hot is it about to get?

Austria’s meteorologic institute ZAMG forecasts temperatures slowly rising over this week. While on Monday, maximum temperatures should be at about 25C (and 22C in Vienna), on Tuesday, they start climbing – with Vienna reaching around 25C.

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

On Wednesday, July 13th, thermometers should mark 30C at some point during the day throughout Austria and the sunny weather helps bring temperatures up. On Thursday, maximum temperatures reach 33C, and on Friday, stormy weather should bring them down to the low 30s again.

Record-breaking temperatures are expected next week, though, when a heatwave hits Europe (and Austria). Already on Tuesday, parts of Austria could have up to 40C.

Is it just in Austria?

No, the heatwave is expected to sweep northwards across Europe, with the highest temperatures in the Iberian peninsula reaching 47C.

The heatwave could reach the United Kingdom over the weekend and is expected to affect much of central Europe, including Germany and Austria, next week.

In this file photo taken on July 10, 2021 a person looks at a street thermometer reading 47ºC during a heat wave, in Seville on August 13, 2021. (Photo by CRISTINA QUICLER / AFP)

What should I do?

There are several things you can do to help you stay cool (or at least cooler) during a heatwave.

Austria’s Health Agency compiled a list of simple measures that help during high temperatures: drink enough water, shade your home or office from direct sunlight, change your schedule to avoid being out during the worst of the heat, and take advantage of milder night temperatures (ventilate the rooms at night or early morning and then close windows and blinds during the day), wear appropriate clothing, use fans and take cool showers.

Before the worst of the heat arrives, you can prepare yourself and your home by keeping those tips in mind.

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

For example, if you do not own a ventilator, it’s time to buy one. If you have plans to go out next week, see if it’s possible to keep appointments and meetings for outside midday heat (that could be from about 11 am to 5 pm) hours.

If possible, see if you can install external blinds or even buy reflective shades for your windows and balcony doors. The goal is to avoid turning your home into a greenhouse by keeping the hot sunlight out.

There are also several small gadgets you can buy to spray yourself with water or small fans to keep next to your table. Or you might need to avoid your home altogether and plan to reach an indoor and airconditioned venue before peak heat hours.

Things to be particularly mindful of

Take extra care of the more vulnerable: that includes children, the elderly, pregnant women, and pets too. Never leave anyone in a parked car – temperatures rise quickly even if the vehicle is parked in the shade – and avoid driving during the heat unless your car has air conditioning.

It’s better to eat lighter and more often – fresh and cold meals are also preferable to a massive bowl of pasta, for example. Eating fresh salads also means that you won’t need to heat up your stove, adding unnecessary heat to your home.

READ ALSO: Summer traffic chaos: Construction work to be aware of in Vienna

If anyone in your home takes medication, check the instructions for the temperature they should be stored at and, if necessary, put them in the fridge.

Look after the more vulnerable people – check in with them, especially if they live alone.

As for pets, plan to go outside not only after peak heat hours but after checking how hot the concrete floors are out on the streets. Even if the sun has subsided, it could be that the street is still unbearably hot for your pet. At home, keep fresh water always available – you can give them ice cubes too.

READ ALSO: ‘Hitzefrei’: When is it too hot to work in Austria?

Austria has a “heat” hotline people can call for personal advice on how to best protect themselves from the heat under the free hotline 050 555 555. If you or someone you know shows any signs of heat stroke or other health problems, call the country’s health number 1450.

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Forecast: Austria faces sunny weekend but temperatures to drop next week

Despite recent sunny weather, people in Austria will have to brace for wintery temperatures in the coming days.

Forecast: Austria faces sunny weekend but temperatures to drop next week

On Friday, people in Austria woke up to a foggy day that quickly turned into an unexpectedly sunny day with mild temperatures. Still, the country’s weather is about to change, Austria’s meteorologic institute ZAMG said.

Saturday should still have some periods of sunshine, especially in the eastern half of the country – perfect for those who will take part in the Viennese Wine Hiking Day (Wiener Weinwandertag), as temperatures should stay around 15C to 18C during the day.

READ ALSO: Wiener Weinwandertag: Everything you need to know about Vienna’s ‘Wine Hiking Day’

In Vorarlberg and Tyrol, however, it may already start to rain, especially south and along the main ridge of the Alps.

Early temperatures in Austria are expected to be between one and eleven degrees, with lower values in the north and daytime highs of 15C to 21C.

Screenshot from ZAMG

On Sunday, dense clouds will dominate and rain is expected in many places. However, a few sunny spells are quite possible in between, most likely in the north and east of the country.

Mostly weak to moderate winds from south to west. Early temperatures will be between six and twelve degrees and daytime highs between 13 and 18 degrees.

READ ALSO: What’s on: Five things to do in Vienna this weekend

On Monday, sun and partly dense clouds will alternate. In the course of the day, there may be rain showers, especially in the mountains, where the clouds are often thicker.

Early temperatures will be between six and twelve degrees, with daily highs between 13C and 19C.

READ ALSO: Top tips to protect yourself from storms in Austria

Stormy weather from Tuesday

On Tuesday, the unsettled weather will continue. Although there may be sunny spells sometimes, clouds will predominate.

Rain showers are expected in all parts of the country, and it could rain for longer periods in some areas.

Early temperatures are between six and twelve degrees, and daily highs are between eleven and 17 degrees.