According to topschoolsintheusa, the intermediate latitude of the Austrian territory, its continental position and the essentially alpine nature of its territory explain very well the overall character of its climate which, if it belongs to the temperate ones, presents great local varieties. In today’s Austria, two climatic provinces can be distinguished: one with the climate typical of middle Europe, which is subdivided into a pre-Alpine or Danubian area, which occupies the pre-Alpine and Transdanubian highlands, and in an inner-alpine area of the great valleys of the Inn, Salzach, Enns and Mur, the other province with a Pannonian climate, extends over Burgenland, the Styrian Hills and within the eastern alpine valleys open to the south-east (Drava and lower course of the Mur).
In the pre-Alpine Danube area, due to the prevalence of westerly winds, the summers, which include about five months, are cool (from 20 to 17 ° in July) and the winters are not very cold (from – 2 °, 5 to – 1 ° in January), with an annual excursion between 19 ° and 21 °.
In the intraalpine area, summers are even cooler (from 18 ° to 15 °), but the temperature fluctuations between the extreme months increase from west to east (Feldkirch-valley of the Ill: 19 °, 8; Admont-valley of the Enns: 22 °, 2); However, the drop in temperature with height is less than in the peripheral pre-Alpine area. In winter, however, due to the high pressure dominant in central Europe, there are often temperature inversions with colder air on the bottom of the internal longitudinal valleys. Characteristic are the low average temperatures in January of the Pinzgau (Zell am See, m. 750, – 6 °, 2, with minimums even of – 24 °, 6), of the Lungau (Tamsweg, m. 1002, – 8 °, 2, with minimums of – 36 °), of the upper valley of the Mur (Judenburg, m. 740, – 4 °, 2). On the other hand, the mountain slopes exposed to the sun, with strong insolation, they are favored by high winter temperatures and summer coolness. For this reason in Austria numerous climatic resorts are developed in coastal and terrace centers, such as in Gnadenwald, near Innsbruck, on the slopes of the southern valleys of the Low Tauern, on the terraces of Ramsau (Mariazell) and those of Aflenz in Styria, in the Semmering, etc.
The Pannonian climate, in the eastern foothills and in the lower part of the eastern alpine valleys (Mur and Drava), is of a more continental type, with temperature excursions, between the extreme months, which considerably exceed 22 ° (Klagenfurt, 25 °, 2); summers have average temperatures of 1 ° or 2 ° higher than those of the withinalpine area, with a duration of five or six months, but above all cold are the winters in the hilly areas of Burgenland, in Lower Styria (Radkersburg, m. 220, January – 3 °, 2) and in the Klagenfurt basin (440 m), which has the January average of – 6 °, 4, lower than that of Hammerfest in upper Norway (70 ° lat. north).
The amount of annual rainfall varies greatly from one place to another. In the highest parts of the northern limestone Prealps, 2000 mm. Are reached and even exceeded, especially in Salzburg and Salzkammergut; instead along the crests of the central alpine chains the 1600 mm is rarely passed. The bottoms of the long longitudinal valleys, sheltered from the humid winds of the O., Have much less rainfall: between 800 and 1000 mm. in the Inn and Mur valleys, where some areas are even below 800 mm.; in the outermost furrow of the Salzach and Enns, barely 1000 or 1200 mm is reached. The whole great strip of the northern foothills, along the Danube, the Hungarian border and the hilly area of Burgenland does not reach 1000 mm. and it is mostly under 800; while in the Vienna basin, in the Marchfeld and in the Transdanubian region (minus the border crests of the Šumava, which reach 1000 mm.), the scarce rainfall is less than 600 mm. and in some years they barely reach 400 or 300 mm.
As for the annual distribution of precipitation, the typical continental regime predominates almost everywhere, especially in the whole Danube area and in the northern alpine longitudinal valleys, with about 40% of summer precipitation (maximum in June and July in groups of 3 or 4 rainy days) and winter minimum, equal to about 15% of the annual total. In central Tyrol and eastern Styria, the summer maximum is shifted somewhat towards August, while then in southern Styria and Carinthia the influence of the sub-Mediterranean regime is felt, with a hint of two other small highs in spring and autumn, the latter is greater, with groups of rains lasting four or six days. Even the snows are more abundant in the peripheral areas than in the internal ones, bypassing the limit of perpetual snows in the massifs of Ôtz and the High Tauern between 2800 and 2700 m., While on the external limestone Prealps it drops to 2500 m. on the sea.
In fact, winter snowfall, 20% of the annual total in the pre-Alpine region of Traun, represents just 16% in the Enns valley, and 12% in the upper Mur; while Salzburg and Salzkammergut are the snowiest regions of Austria, also for the duration of the snow cover. Usually at 900 or 1000m. above the limit of permanent snow, precipitation is snowy all year round; but in the Inn valley, at 600 msm, the snow lasts about 86 days a year and in the high valley of the Enns at 750 msm, the snow remains on the ground from mid-November to the end of March, and on the upper slopes until June or July. Of typical local winds, the winter Föhn is noteworthy, especially frequent in Vorarlberg and in the Lnn valley (Innsbruck 43 days a year), which leads to sudden melting of snow and causes serious damage; and the spring sirocco in Styria and Carinthia with soft anticipations of the rivers.