Published On: Mon, Jan 14th, 2019

The Highest Level Avalanche Warning In Austria

Once again, within a day, fresh snow fell to a meter in places, while in Tyrol and Vorarlberg the highest warning level applies again. In Lower Austria, the Hochkar was closed again, in Styria the avalanche danger increases.

avalanche warning

From Sunday to Monday morning, there has been widespread fresh snow on the northern side of the Alps within 24 hours, between 20 to 60 centimeters. At times, it also rained to higher altitudes, informed the Central Institute for Meteorology and Geodynamics (ZAMG). Especially on the higher mountains of Vorarlberg and Tyrol there were in places even between 80 to 100 centimeters snowfall. Until Tuesday morning, the ZAMG expects another 20 to 40 centimeters of fresh snow on the northern side of the Alps. In the far west, as on the Arlberg, snow depths of around 50 centimeters may be added, and in the Hohe Tauern area 60 to 70 centimeters.

The large amounts of fresh snow, but also the strong wind have raised the avalanche danger in many parts of western Austria to the highest warning level 5 (“very high” danger). Even the Tyrolean capital of Innsbruck is affected by the fact that more snow fell in the Karwendel area north of the city than expected. But also in the rest of Austria the conditions are very sensitive, the second highest warning level is widely used. In addition to the danger of spontaneous avalanches, the fresh snowdrift on the steep terrain can be released even at the slightest additional load. Before tours and alternative rides in open terrain is strongly discouraged.

The precarious conditions also lead to countless roadblocks. For example, the Hochkar Alpine Road in Lower Austria had to be closed again for emergency services on Monday, so 180 people are stuck at the Hochkar. In Styria, more than 1,000 people are still cut off from the outside world, in the province of Salzburg there are 17,000 people. But also in Tyrol, Vorarlberg and Upper Austria, many traffic paths are closed.

The snow, but also rainfall demand in neighboring Bavaria, the emergency forces, there are avalanches and floods.

On Tuesday afternoon, snowfall and rain will be over and the clouds will loosen up. The wind is particularly strong on the mountains at first strong to stormy and is weaker in the evening.

On Wednesday and Thursday, at least temporarily, the sun will be shining and it is snowing or raining little or not at all. The Friday looks a little more changeable from the momentary point of view, but does not bring any major fresh snow.

About the Author