Climate of Austria
Where is the country of Austria located? Austria is a landlocked country in the southern part of Central Europe. Austria has three different climates. The highest areas (in Tyrol and Vorarlberg, among others) have a high mountain climate (type EH) and the lower parts have a moderate continental climate (type Dfb). The transition areas between these two climatic zones have a cold continental climate, with cold winters and fairly cool summers. In the far west of Austria there are some areas with a microclimate, with the moderate maritime climate (Cfb climate) being the most prevalent.
The fact that Austria largely has a continental climate and is virtually unaffected by the sea is reflected in the grim nature of the weather. The weather picture can change completely within one or a few days and at the same time quite large differences in weather type and temperature can occur within the country itself. The Alpine regions in particular are very susceptible to this and even per mountain or side of a mountain there can be large differences. A well-known weather phenomenon that can cause a sudden weather change is the hair dryer. This warm wind can cause a rapid rise in temperature and is often accompanied by dry, clear air.
Summer in Austria
Summers in Austria are on average warmer than here. Even in the medium-high mountain areas it is pleasantly warm and quite sunny on many days. At altitudes of 1800-2000 meters and above, summer temperatures are very rare. Here the temperatures in summer do not rise as much as in the lower areas. There is a reasonable chance of precipitation, especially in the south and west of Austria. In the mountain areas, rain is regularly accompanied by thunderstorms, which can sometimes be quite haunting in the valleys and heavy showers can lead to large amounts of rain within a relatively short period of time. Most rain falls on the north side of the Alps, where the depressions from the North Sea and Atlantic Ocean are absorbed.
Due to the amounts of precipitation that fall in the summer, the relatively warm and dry east of the country does not qualify for a Mediterranean climate.
Winter in Austria
The winter months in Austria are almost entirely devoted to winter sports. Large parts of the country are then covered by a good layer of snow and thanks to the usually excellent weather conditions for all kinds of winter sports, the country is one of the most popular ski destinations in the world. Winter sports in Austria is therefore a top holiday for many ski enthusiasts to book.
In winter, almost all precipitation falls in the form of snow, only in the lowest parts of Austria it can rain at temperatures that are above freezing during the day. The highest mountain peaks (above more than three thousand meters) have eternal snow. These peaks are white with snow all year round. Austria also has a number of glaciers. These are declining in number and size due to climate change.
The figures below are based on long-term average climate statistics. The temperatures are displayed in degrees Celsius (°C).
|Hours of sunshine per day
|Days of rainfall per month
Best time to visit Austria
Do you want to know when is the best time to travel to Austria? You can determine the best time to travel to a destination based on the weather and climate. In addition, there are other factors that are not directly related to the weather and that can influence the best travel periods for a travel destination. Think, for example, of holidays or festive periods, which makes traveling more interesting or not, because daily life comes to a standstill as a result. The Republic of Austria is a country located in Central Europe. Austria is located in the Alps, so a large part of the country consists of mountainous areas. About two-thirds of Austria is more than five hundred meters above sea level. Due to its location, the large bodies of water have little influence on the weather in Austria. As a result, Austria has a moderate continental climate with a high mountain climate at the higher altitudes. Characteristic of the weather in Austria is the capriciousness that you can have to deal with. This can cause major differences in temperature and weather within a relatively short period of time. In addition, the weather, especially locally, is sometimes difficult to predict. The mountains can play an unexpected role, so that the eventual weather can deviate quite a lot from that predicted by the meteorologists. Especially in the Alps you have to take into account the chance of a fairly sudden weather change throughout the year.
Most pleasant months
If you completely ignore the winter sports period, the period from May to September is the best time to travel to Austria. If you want to enjoy summery weather during your holiday in Austria, you should focus on the summer months of July and August. It can sometimes be hot and stuffy in the lower areas. In the middle of summer there is a reasonable chance of thunderstorms, which can be violent in the mountain areas.
If you want to visit one of the Austrian cities, such as Vienna, Salzburg or Innsbruck, you can do so almost all year round. The best weather is usually between May and September, but the months of April and October can also be great for flying to Austria for a city trip. The Christmas markets are held from the end of November until just before Christmas. The atmosphere that this entails is for some a reason to travel to an Austrian city during this winter period.
Hiking, biking and other activities
If you want to be active in Austria, the months of May, June and September are generally the best travel periods to do so. The temperature is then a bit more pleasant and the chance of heavy (thunder) showers is smaller. In the higher areas you can still suffer from snow remnants in May and even in June. If you go hiking in Austria in October, you will be treated to the beautiful autumn colors that nature produces. The temperatures can still be pleasant, but especially in the mountains it can cool down considerably at night.
Austria is known as an excellent winter sports destination. Almost half of all tourists who come for a holiday in Austria come to the Alpine country for winter sports. In the highest ski areas you can sometimes ski or snowboard all year round. Consider, for example, the glacier of the Litzsteinhorn near Kaprun. The official ski season in Austria starts in December and lasts until April or even the beginning of May, depending on the ski area. The best months for a winter sports holiday are February and March, we would prefer March. It is then longer light and it is less cold than the middle of winter.
If you are stuck with the school holidays for winter sports, it is best to opt for the spring break. This holiday, which falls in February or March, is more snow-sure than the Christmas holiday. The temperatures are also often more pleasant. Both holidays have one annoying similarity: they are among the most expensive periods for winter sports in Austria.