Austria is facing an exciting weather situation this weekend, which can provide a winter onset to low altitudes. Forecast.
Although Austria’s temperature level is in line with the seasonal average, it has only been enough for wintry conditions away from the mountains for a short time so far. This changes over the weekend as the weather situation turns. According to the Austrian Severe Weather Center experts, an Italian low will bring increased snowfall, and even at low altitudes, regionally striking fresh snow is on the horizon.
Currently, the Alpine region lies on the back of a low-pressure system that has already arrived over the Baltic States in an excellent northwesterly flow; under the influence of intermediate highs, the calm weather character prevails for the time being. Over the East Atlantic, however, an extensive low-pressure system is already moving into position, shifting to the central Mediterranean region in the next few days. Starting from Italy, two low-pressure areas will become attractive for our weather: a first, still relatively weak one on Friday and a second, more pronounced one from Saturday to Sunday. The latter will finally move northward over Hungary and Romania, bringing widespread wintry conditions to the Alpine region.
With dense cloud cover, precipitation will increase on Saturday, except in the extreme northeast, gradually intensifying in the second half of the day. While from Vorarlberg to Upper Styria, it is mostly snow down to the valleys, only in the lowest locations, such as the Rhine Valley it becomes scarce; the snow line in the south and southeast is mostly between 600 and 800 meters and here, only drops in the evening to many low elevations.
“In the night to Sunday, snowfall is finally to be expected throughout the country with a focus on the eastern half, partly heavy snow,” said Manfred Spatzierer, chief meteorologist of the Unwetterzentrale. From the Klagenfurt basin to the Vienna area, it is still primarily wet snow at temperatures between 0 and +2 degrees; otherwise, powder snow with corresponding accumulation is expected at predominantly negative temperatures. In addition, lively northwesterly winds will already arise in the east.
On Sunday, the low moves north over Hungary so that the snowfall is concentrated on the eastern, northern side of the Alps and sometimes the east as cold air continues to flow in, while it subsides in the south with northwest winds and only showers are on the way in the west. From Vorarlberg to a line St. Pölten – Klagenfurt, light permafrost will set in; east of it, the temperatures will be slightly in the positive range with solid northwesterly winds, in the southeast up to +3 degrees, here raindrops may also mix in.
In total, wintry conditions will prevail. In the inner Alps, 10 to 20 centimeters of fresh snow can be expected from the Salzkammergut to the Mostviertel, even up to 30 centimeters. It will be somewhat less in the west due to the milder air in the southwest. North of the Alps, and thus also along the Danube, around 10 centimeters of fresh snow are indicated, and even in the east, including Vienna, about 5 centimeters of fresh snow are possible; in the western districts of the capital, even around 10 centimeters. In the southeast of Austria, on the other hand, it can also only tickle in places. Decisive snow in the east will be the train path of the low; here, there is still some uncertainty.
At the beginning of next week, the cold air that has flowed in, and thus also the snow cover, should persist at low altitudes, especially in the west and north; a few ice days with negative highs are on the horizon. And also, the wintry cold air will probably only be displaced temporarily, if at all.
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