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Will Austria see a white Christmas this year?

Aaron Burnett
Aaron Burnett - [email protected]
Will Austria see a white Christmas this year?
Austrians know how to layer for the cold weather (Photo by Anton on Unsplash)

Snow is forecast to make a big comeback into Austria this week, in a clash of weather systems that will bring in an unusual mix of warm and snowy weather.

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Parts of Austria, especially in the Alps, could see a cold, snowy week – even as the lowlands stay relatively warm for the season.

That’s because a cold front from Scandinavia is set to gradually make its way through the Alps this week, clashing with a high-pressure system coming in from the north.

The result will be an unstable mix of rain and snow on the heels of a weather system that has confounded even experienced Austrian meteorologists.

This unusual system is keeping cold air out of the lowlands – and Vienna has recently seen temperatures of around 15C.

While the capital will likely have a damp, wet Christmas as temperatures remain above freezing, with a high of 9C expected on Christmas Day, higher altitudes could see a very white Christmas indeed. Starting on Wednesday, the snow line will drop to about 1000 metres in the Alps. Alpine communities above that elevation will get big dumps of the white stuff.

The snow line will drop even lower in the Mühlviertel, coming down to 600 metres.

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Over the later half of the week and into the weekend, the snow line will fluctuate in the Alps, coming as low as 700 metres and going as high as 1,200 metres. The lowlands around Vienna and in Styria will probably see wet conditions instead, with some isolated snow squalls.

Communities lying between about 500 and 1200 metres in elevation will likely see between five and 15 centimetres of snow. Anywhere lying above that though could see significantly more, with some ski areas seeing anywhere between 30 and 65 centimetres of snow in Tyrol and Vorarlberg, making a ski trip a potentially attractive Christmas activity.

Bundle up if you go up there though, as highs at elevations above 2000m are expected to reach only about -7C, compared to low-lying Vienna’s balmy conditions by comparison.

READ ALSO: How to stay safe during ski season in Austria

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