MAP: Parts of Austria set for torrential rain in coming days

Following the devastating storms in the south and west of Austria, the eastern states were preparing for downpours this week

Austria weather rain
Vienna to be hit with rain and thunderstorms in the coming days (Photo by Rafael Hoyos Weht on Unsplash)

Intense drought, extreme heat and now heavy rains. Austria is going through a summer of wild and severe weather and the eastern states are now bracing for thunderstorms and persistent rain in the coming days, according to the weather forecast institute ZAMG.

Following devastating storms in the south and west of Austria, which required hundreds of emergency service workers to come to the rescue, Vienna’s fire brigade was preparing for heavy and persistent rain in the east on Monday.

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

According to forecasts, there will be heavy rain in Vienna. Heavy rain was also expected to move across Lower Austria and Vienna on Monday, bringing a risk of small-scale flooding.

The ZAMG meteorologist Stefan Kiesenhofer told ORF he expected above-average rainfall of between 30 and 60 litres per square metre – far less than the 200 litres per square meter which fell in Vorarlberg last week.

However, he added it was difficult to make predictions at the moment.

“Currently, with the low-pressure system circling Central Europe, the forecasts are a bit more difficult. When we have other flow constellations again, it will certainly be better and easier for us with the forecast,” said Kiesenhofer.

Severe storms already hit the west

Many streets and areas of Vorarlberg in western Austria flooded following heavy rain on Friday that continued into Saturday.

Cellars and garages were full of water, underpasses were flooded and there were some landslides, the police and fire brigade said on Saturday.

However, the situation eased after midnight and no one was hurt.

READ ALSO: Friday’s storms cause flooded streets and mudslides in Austria’s Vorarlberg

Five people, including two children, died last Thursday as storms wreaked havoc in Austria, according to the country’s news agency and officials.

Three people died due to a falling tree in Lower Austria state. In the southern state of Carinthia, two children were killed and about a dozen other people injured at a small lake when the storm also uprooted several trees there, said Red Cross spokeswoman for the state Melanie Reiter.

READ ALSO: Five people dead after violent storms hit Austria

Extreme weather warning for rain in Austria on Tuesday, August 23rd (© ZAMG)

Weather forecast

Some thunderstorms are already expected for Monday in the east of Austria, according to ZAMG.

On Tuesday, the country will be divided: sunny weather in the west while it’s cooler and more unstable in the east. Dense clouds sometimes bring heavy precipitation in the eastern states, including Vienna. Local rain continues in the east during Wednesday.

On Thursday, it is still unstable in the east, and Burgenland, Cienna, and Styria could see heavy thunderstorms in the afternoon – while it is mostly dry and sunny in Vorarlberg and Tyrol.

Currently, ZAMG has a yellow (caution) alert for rain for the eastern states on Tuesday, but this could change quickly, the authorities say. Changes in pressure and temperatures could bring strong thunderstorms at short notice, which happened last week, as reported.

Useful vocabulary

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

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What are the chances of a white Christmas in Austria this year?

Yes, it's a bit early for Christmas weather forecasts, but it hasn't stopped meteorologists making predictions. Here's what they have to say about the possibility of snow in Austria this Christmas.

What are the chances of a white Christmas in Austria this year?

In less than a month it will be Christmas Eve and the suspense is rising on whether there will be a white Christmas, especially at low altitudes, broadcaster ORF said.

The weather models do not yet reach that far, but ORF Vorarlberg meteorologist Thomas Rinderer has looked at the statistics in a bid to predict the snowfall this year.

FOR MEMBERS: Everything that changes in Austria in December 2022

On average, there is a white Christmas in Bregenz every three to six years. The last time was in 2011, so statistically speaking, a white Christmas in the Rhine Valley would be more than overdue.

However, the first long-term forecasts see a relatively mild winter overall, so it’s unlikely that an extremely cold winter is imminent. This follows the warmest October in Austria since records began although, according to ORF meteorologists, “surprises are still possible”.

READ ALSO: Austrian Christmas traditions: The festive dates you need to know

This is because even in a mild winter there can still be a lot of snow. 

The Copernicus climate change service of the EU is predicting winter will be dry from France to Germany, but the Mediterranean area will be humid. This can lead to precipitation moving up from Italy into Austria where it’s likely to become snow.

Last year, some parts of Austria (especially in the west) enjoyed a white Christmas after a cold December and plenty of snowfall. This year, many regions in the Alps are already coated in snow although temperatures are set to rise next week.

We’ll keep you updated on the forecasts in the coming weeks.