Austria has a mainly continental climate, with warm, wet summers and cold, dry winters. A humid continental climate (Köppen climate classification Dfb) dominates the northern and eastern regions. Significant portions of the north-central, central, southern, and western regions have an oceanic climate (Köppen Cfb). A predominantly alpine climate (Köppen Dfc, Köppen EF, Köppen ET) is evident in the mountainous region of the Alps. Austria is a landlocked country in south-central Europe. Hungary lies in the east, Slovenia and Italy in the south and Switzerland and Liechtenstein in the west of Austria. Germany in the northwest, the Czech Republic in the north, and Slovakia in the northeast complete the remaining borders. The Alps, the Atlantic pressure systems from the northwest, and the Mediterranean pressure systems from the south, chiefly influence the climate.
Austria is a mountainous country that lies between 46°N and 49°N in central Europe. The Eastern Alps is the largest region that comprises 62% of Austria's total area. The foothills at the base of the Alps and those engulfing the Pannonian plains account for another 24%. The Austrian granite plateau in the north, home to a large mountain area, occupies 10% of the land. The Vienna basin completes the remaining 4% of Austria. The Danube, the largest river at 1786 miles, flows from west to east into the Black Sea. Lake Constance is the largest lake with an area of 220 square miles. The Grossglockner is the highest mountain in Austria at 3798 meters above sea level. Lake Neusiedl is the lowest point in Austria at 115 meters above the Adriatic Sea.
Summers are warm in the plains and valleys of Austria but tend to be cool in the mountains. The average high temperatures remain between 21.1°C (70°F) in the mountains to 27.2°C (81°F) in the plains at the peak of July. Temperatures above 32.2°C (90°F) are rare. Thunderstorms are standard in the summer. Winters are cold and snowy. The average low temperatures are below freezing in many places and drop below -17.8°C (-0°F) in the Alps in January. Snowfall is massive in the mountains and regularly crosses 5080mm (200") at an altitude above 2000 meters. Fog is standard in the valleys such as the Danube, along with low clouds. At least 7 days witness fog every month in the winter. Spring is cold in the first half but warm and moist by the second half. Autumn changes from wet and warm in September to cold and dry by the end of November. The warm Fohn wind from the Mediterranean south moderates the temperatures in the winter. The cold Bora wind from the east brings freezing temperatures in Austria.
The annual rainfall in Austria ranges from 762mm (30") to 1524mm (60"). Nauders receives 635mm (25"), and Bregenz registers 1524mm (60") in the western region. Villach gets 1092.2mm (43"), and Admont receives 1295.4mm (51") in the southern and central regions. In the northern and eastern regions, Vienna gets 660.4mm (26"), and Linz registers 863.6mm (34"). Summer is the wettest season, and winter is the driest season. Snowfall is substantial, with permanent glaciation in alpine regions. Much of Austria receives at least 762mm (30") to 1016mm (40") of snow and clocks 30 snowy days in the year. Many areas receive between 2540mm (100") to 4318mm (170"), with at least 120 days of snow. Sonnblick Mountains receive a massive 21031.2mm (828"), and the snow remains on the ground throughout the year. The annual average sunshine is in the moderate range of 1500 hours to 2000 hours. November to January sees hardly 3 hours of sun. The relative humidity ranges between 55% and 95%.
The highest temperature on record in Austria is 40.5°C (104.9°F) in Bad Deutsch-Altenburg, set on August 8, 2013. The lowest temperature on record is -52.6°C (-62.7°F) in Grunlochdoline, set on February 19, 1932.
The best time to visit Austria
The best time to visit Austria is May in the late spring season, June in the summer, and September in the early autumn. The temperatures are mild, and the precipitation is moderate at best, with pleasant breezes and fewer crowds. Summer sees high temperatures and much of the annual precipitation in Austria. The peak tourist season attracts crowds between June and August, which is also the best time to visit the mountains. Ski holidays are also possible in May when the temperatures are mild, but there is ample snow on the ground. September has beautiful colors, and the ample sunshine keeps the winter cold away.
The worst time to visit Austria
The worst time to visit Austria is in the severely cold winter season from December to February. Nights frequently drop below the freezing mark in the plains and are severe at high altitudes. Mountains see snow on the ground for months together. Ice storms are frequent, and the gusty winds exacerbate the cold. Winter has little remain but ample snow. The skies are dark, and the weak sunshine hardly lasts for more than 3 hours a day. February has moderate sunshine and fair weather for a ski holiday in the winter.
Austria is prone to weather hazards, such as wildfires, floods, and earthquakes. Wildfires mostly occur between late spring and early autumn when the temperatures are high. The low-lying areas are prone to floods due to the melting of the snow in late spring and summer seasons. Thunderstorms are frequent in the mountains during the summer. The Danube basin incurs substantial damage due to floods, such as in 1965, 2002, and 2005. Landslides, avalanches, and earthquakes are frequent due to the mountainous nature of the country.
Weather in January
January is the coldest month of the year in Austria by far, with cold days and nights below freezing. Vienna, the capital in the east, has a mean monthly temperature of 0.6°C (33.1°F) in January, while Klagenfurt in the south registers -3.3°C (26.1°F). In the west, the average temperatures in Innsbruck are in the cold range of -3.9°C (25°F) to 3.3°C (37.9°F). Vienna and Linz report less snowfall of 180.3mm (7.1") compared to the rest of Austria. Nauders registers 500.4mm (19.7") of snow, Schladming 850.9mm (33.5"), Krippenstein 1244.6mm (49"), and Sonnblick Mountain 2199.6mm (86.6") in January. The average precipitation is between 50.8mm (2") to 101.6mm (4"), a mix of rain and snow. The daily sunshine is below 3 hours, and the daylight lasts between 8 hours and 25 minutes to 9 hours and 30 minutes. The skies remain overcast for more than 60% of the time. The average daily wind speeds in Vienna are between 13.7km/h (8.5mph) to 15.4km/h (9.6mph), with a predominantly westerly direction. Bring warm clothes, such as a winter jacket or fleece, a scarf, and gloves. January visitors in Austria are mostly mountain adventure seekers.
Weather in February
February is cold and snowy in Austria, with hardly 4 hours of daily sunshine. The Tyrol region in the west receives 50.8mm (2") to 101.6mm (4") of precipitation and 508mm (20") to 762mm (30") of snow. Salzburg receives 238.8mm (9.4"), and Saint Wolfgang accumulates 226.1mm (8.9"), while Schmittenhohe registers heavy snowfall of 904.2mm (35.6"). The average temperatures in Admont are in the freezing range of -6.1°C (21°F) to 3.3°C (37.9°F), while Villach is slightly warm between -4.4°C (24.1°F) and 5.6°C (42.1°F). Sonnblick Mountain registers frigid temperatures in the zone of -14.4°C (6.1°F) to -10°C (14°F). The Danube Valley is severely cold and remains misty much of the time. Cold air masses from Russia push the temperatures below -20°C (-4°F). The relative humidity remains low between 55% and 60%. Innsbruck is cold and dry, with predominantly southern winds that average 6.6km/h (4.1mph). The daylight rises swiftly to register 11 hours as the latest sunset in February occurs at 5.45 p.m. in Linz. February is the best month of the winter for skiing in Austria.
Weather in March
March is early spring season in Austria, which begins with a promise to end the winter cold. The average high temperatures rise above freezing to register in the 2.2°C (36°F) to 11.1°C (52°F). Nights remain below freezing between -6.1°C (21°F) and 1.7°C (35.1°F) in most regions. Graz sees cold to mild temperatures in the zone of 1.1°C (34°F) to 11.1°C (52°F), with only 71.1mm (2.8") of snow. Seefeld registers between -4.4°C (24.1°F) and 5.6°C (42.1°F), with 850.9mm (33.5") of snowfall. The daily sunshine increases significantly to register at least 5 hours in most places. Cold air masses remain near the ground, and cold spells are common in spring. Innsbruck registers 50.8mm (2") of rain and has less than 60% humidity. Klagenfurt registers 12 hours of daylight, with cloudy skies for 55% of the time and a dominant northern wind at 7.1km/h (4.4mph). Warm jackets protect from the cold weather during outdoor activities. Budget travelers find great deals due to fewer crowds. March gradually warms up with each passing day in Austria.
Weather in April
April is cold to mild in the spring season in Austria, with a significant rise in temperatures. The average high temperatures are in the comfortable zone of 9.4°C (48.9°F) to 16.7°C (62.1°F). The average high temperatures are in the comfortable zone of 9.4°C (48.9°F) to 16.7°C (62.1°F). The average low temperatures are in the cold zone of -1.7°C (28.9°F) to 6.1°C (43°F), and nights drop below freezing in many places. The days are usually comfortable for outdoor activities. The skies clear up to 50% as the daily sunshine registers 7 hours. Snowfall occurs only at high altitudes. Linz, in Upper Austria, registers 63.5mm (2.5") to 76.2mm (3") of rain and beautiful sunshine of 173 hours in April. Graz, in Styria, records 53.3mm (2.1") of precipitation and 178 hours of monthly sunshine. The daylight stretches up to 14 hours and 22 minutes in Klagenfurt in the south, as the sunset occurs past 8 p.m. A warm jacket is highly useful in the spring season in April in Austria.
Weather in May
May is pleasant in Austria as the late spring season ushers plenty of sunshine. The average high temperatures are in the warm range of 10°C (50°F) to 21.7°C (71.1°F). Afternoons are sunny, and the long evenings end with more than 15 hours and 40 minutes of daylight. Nights are in the cold range of 1.1°C (34°F) to 10.6°C (51.1°F) and require warm clothing in most places. Grossglockner is cold between -5°C (23°F) to -1.1°C (30°F) and sees many ski-lovers that enjoy the 1778mm (70") of snowfall in May. The daily sunshine lasts between 6 hours and 8 hours and brings 76.2mm (3") to 152.4mm (6") of rainfall in much of Austria. Innsbruck has cloudy skies for 63% of the time and frequent thunderstorms, much higher than Vienna in the northeast. Linz registers average daily wind speeds of 8.9km/h (5.5mph), and the wind direction is mostly from the west. The relative humidity between 50% and 60% keeps the atmosphere pleasant. Expect crowds in Austria to significantly increase in May.
Weather in June
June is warm and sunny in Austria at the beginning of the summer season. The average high temperatures range between a glorious 14.4°C (57.9°F) to 23.9°C (75°F) and the nights are cold to mild between 4.4°C (39.9°F) to 13.9°C (57°F). The daily sunshine is warm and beautiful and lasts for 6 hours to 8 hours. June 21 is the longest day of the year, with 16 hours of daylight. The evenings are long, and the sunset occurs between 8.47 p.m. to 9 p.m. The rainfall ranges between 101.6mm (4") to 177.8mm (7") in much of Austria as summer is the wettest season. The skies are clear up to 60% of the time, and the relative humidity is in the range of 55% to 70%. The days remain comfortable, with a few muggy periods. The only snowfall occurs at heights above 3000 meters on the mountain slopes, which are bustling with ski-lovers. June is a beautiful month and one of the best times for a visit to Austria.
Weather in July
July is the warmest and wettest month of the year in Austria. The average high temperatures cross 26.7°C (80.1°F) in Vienna, Neusiedl am See, Klagenfurt, Villach, and many other places on the plains. Nights remain between 10°C (50°F) to 15.6°C (60.1°F) in low-lying areas. Mountains, such as Saint Anton, register cool to warm temperatures between 7.8°C (46°F) to 21.1°C (70°F). Skiing is in full swing in the Grossglockner with average temperatures in the cold range of 0°C (32°F) to 5°C (41°F) and plenty of snow on the ground. Expect up to 8 hours of brilliant sunshine and 15 hours of daylight in most places on the plains. Vienna sees clear skies for 65% of the time, with relative humidity between 55% and 65%. In Innsbruck, summer days can be sultry, with 45% cloud cover and humidity up to 70%. The average daily wind speeds range between 6.4km/h (4mph) to 12.9km/h (8mph) in most places. The precipitation ranges between 127mm (5") to 228.6mm (9") in much of the country. Expect afternoon thunderstorms in Austria in July.
Weather in August
August is warm and sunny in Austria, with 8 hours of bright daily sunshine in the plains. Vienna registers average temperatures in the beautiful 15.6°C (60.1°F) to 26.1°C (79°F) range and moderate rainfall of 71.1mm (2.8"). Salzburg is between 13.9°C (57°F) to 24.4°C (75.9°F) and registers 13 wet days that bring 165.1mm (6.5") of rain in the month. August is the perfect time to explore the mountains, which are warm in the day and cool at night. Klagenfurt sees a dominant northern wind with average speeds below 5.6km/h (3.5mph) and is pleasant with relative humidity below 65%. Afternoons inevitably bring thunderstorms in the mountains. The precipitation is heavy at times, and it is prudent to carry a rain jacket or umbrella for protection. The daylight reduces gradually from a peak of 15 hours to 13 hours and 20 minutes during the month. T-shirts and shorts are suitable during the day, but long pants are due by evening. High mountain slopes need warm jackets in the night. August sees high tourist footfalls in Austria.
Weather in September
September is warm in Austria at the beginning of the colorful autumn season. The average high temperatures are in the comfortable range of 12.8°C (55°F) to 21.1°C (70°F). Nights are cold to mild in the range of 3.3°C (37.9°F) to 11.7°C (53.1°F). The precipitation is to the tune of 76.2mm (3") to 152.4mm (6"), and the landscape is past the peak wetness of the summer. Much of the country receives between 160 hours to 190 hours of daily sunshine, with a small rise in humidity. The earliest sunrise occurs at 6.20 a.m. in Linz, and the latest sunset happens at 7.43 p.m. Vienna is occasionally sultry, with relative humidity between 60% and 70%. Innsbruck remains cloudy for 52% to 58% of the time. The land becomes colorful by the third week of September, and the conditions are pleasant. Expect few thunderstorms than the summer. A warm jacket or sweater is helpful in the cold evenings. September is one of the best times to visit Austria.
Weather in October
October is mild to cold in Austria, with a rapid drop in temperatures. The autumn is in full splendor, but the daylight reduces sharply to register only 10 hours by the end of the month. The moderate sunshine lasts between 4 hours and 5 hours and is insufficient to keep warmth for long. The average high temperatures range between 10°C (50°F) to 15.6°C (60.1°F) during the day but deteriorate quickly by evening. The nights drop below freezing in many places and average between 0.6°C (33.1°F) to 7.8°C (46°F). Warm clothing is necessary for outdoor settings in the evenings. The skies remain clear for 50% of the time, and the average daily wind speeds clock in the range of 8km/h (5mph) to 14.5km/h (9mph) during September. The conditions are fair, although days are occasionally muggy. The average precipitation is between 50.8mm (2") and 76.2mm (3") in most of the country. Early snowfall occurs at high altitudes, where it registers between 127mm (5") to 254mm (10"). October is an excellent alternative to visit Austria for those who do not mind a bit of cold.
Weather in November
November is cold at the end of the autumn in Austria. The skies are gray with hardly 2 hours of daily sunshine and less than 9 hours of daylight in the latter half of the month. The average high temperatures are mild at best and lie between 1.1°C (34°F) and 8.3°C (46.9°F). Nights are mostly below freezing and range between -5.6°C (21.9°F) to 2.8°C (37°F). The average temperatures in Vienna and Linz in the plains register in the cold 2.2°C (36°F) to 8.3°C (46.9°F) range. Snowfall ranges between 127mm (5") on the plains to 508mm (20") in the mountains. The precipitation ranges between 50.8mm (2") to 101.6mm (4") and is occasionally in the form of icy rain. November 18 is the cloudiest day of the year in Vienna, with the skies overcast for 62% of the time. The average humidity sits in a comfortable range of 55% to 60%. Trees begin to show bare limbs, and the ground gathers snow. Wear warm jackets or sweaters after sunset. Expect the cold to increase rapidly at the end of November in Austria.
Weather in December
December is the beginning of the icy and dry winter in Austria. The average low temperatures range between a frigid -12.8°C (9°F) in Sonnblick Mountain to a cold -0.6°C (30.9°F) in Bregenz. The average high temperatures are in the zone of -8.3°C (17.1°F) to 4.4°C (39.9°F) and remain below freezing in many regions. The Fohn winds from the Mediterranean south occasionally reduce the severity of the cold for brief periods. Much of Austria receives 50.8mm (2") to 127mm (5") of precipitation. December brings at least 20 days of snow that yields deposits between 381mm (15") to 762mm (30") in Austria. The northeastern region typically receives less snow between 127mm (5") to 254mm (10"). The daily sunlight lasts between 2 hours to 3 hours. The shortest day is December 21, with 8 hours and 20 minutes of daylight in Vienna and sunset at 4 p.m. Pack warm winter clothing and mountain wear for alpine skiing and other snow activities in the fairy-tale realm. Christmas paints the landscape white in Austria in December.