Wednesday, December 1

Waiting for rain: driest autumn in decades

Austria experiences a golden autumn with lots of sunshine in September and October and comparatively little fog. The sunniest place is Andau in Burgenland with 435 hours of sunshine, closely followed by Innsbruck with 421 hours of sunshine. Vienna has already counted over 400 hours of sunshine, and October was even one of the sunniest since measurements were taken. So far, however, there has been no rain in autumn.

On average in Austria, it rained only half as much as the long-term average, the last time it was so dry was in September and October 1986, i.e. 35 years ago. Even the wettest place, the Loiblpass in Carinthia, only got half as much rain as normal with 221 liters per square meter.

Myra falls without water

The driest places are in Lower Austria. In Horn, Retz and Langenlois it only rained around 25 liters per square meter, which is a decrease of 70 percent. But also in Eichberg (Styria), in Bad Tatzmannsdorf (Burgenland) and Kollerschlag (Upper Austria) only about 30 liters per square meter fell.

ORF.at/Günther Rosenberger

Rain is soon desired, so that the water supplies in the soil fill up for spring

Accordingly, little water currently flows in the rivers and streams. For example, the Inn and Drau currently have as little water as they usually do in December. The Neusiedlersee reached its lowest water level of the year on Saturday, 27 centimeters below the normal level. The Myra Falls, a popular excursion destination, in the district of Wr. Neustadt, have even dried up completely. Not even the elders in the valley can remember something like that – more on noe.ORF.at.

The forest fire in Hirschwang on the Rax is also a consequence of the drought. According to the Austrian Federal Forests, less precipitation and drought affected the forests less in the second half of the year than in spring. But in southern Lower Austria there was far too little rain in the spring, and that could not be made up in the summer. In addition, the steep locations in the Schneeberg area had very shallow soils that had only a low water storage capacity.

Ideal for agriculture

In agriculture, on the other hand, there is enthusiasm for this autumn almost across the board. The Styrian maize farmers are happy about the dry harvesting conditions, says Arno Mayer from the Styrian Chamber of Agriculture. The arable soils are very stable, the heavy maize combines would not lead to any soil compaction, the following crops would benefit from this. The Chamber of Agriculture in Upper Austria is equally satisfied on request.

Dry corn

ORF.at/Roland Winkler

Corn farmers are happy about the dry harvesting conditions

The harvesting work that is still outstanding in Lower Austria can also be completed better under dry conditions, according to the Lower Austria Chamber of Agriculture. The amount of sunshine also had a positive effect on sugar storage in sugar beet and wine. Even for the winter grain sown in recent weeks, the soil moisture is usually sufficient, fog and dew would help, says Manfred Weinhappel from the Chamber of Agriculture in Lower Austria.

Rain and cooling in sight

Nevertheless, rain is soon desired, because in late autumn and winter the water reserves in the soil should fill up. This is very important for a good development of the stocks in the spring, write the experts from the chambers of agriculture. If autumn and winter run dry, the plants start with difficulties in spring. And rain is in sight, heavy rain even. Just in time with the change of month, the weather changes. The hair dryer, which still ensures temperatures over 20 degrees on the weekend, is coming to an end.

In Vorarlberg it starts to rain early on All Saints’ Day (Monday), then around noon in Tyrol, and in the night on Allerseelen the rain finally spreads to the east of Austria. 20 to 40 liters per square meter should fall throughout Austria, and a little more in East Tyrol and Upper Carinthia. The rain will also help extinguish the forest fire in Hirschwang an der Rax – more on this in noe.ORF.at.

After the weather calmed down on Tuesday, All Souls’ Day, the next rainfall will follow on Wednesday and Thursday. The drought is thus significantly alleviated. It also cools down. The mountains, now green-brown all the way up, will soon shine white. Because there will be fresh snow in the new week. Temporarily it can snow below 1,000 meters.

Reference-orf.at

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