Does it snow in Vienna, Austria in winter? How much snow could there be?

Minimal snow on Vienna’s Yppenplatz on January 18th, 2020. The approximately 1 inch of snow had melted by the next day

Since I wrote an article about the weather in Vienna in the winter, I have had a couple of people message me to specifically ask about snow in Vienna.

Does it snow in Vienna, Austria in the winter? How much snow could there be if it does?

Here then is some fast information for anyone else who has the same question.

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Information that is based on my own personal experience during five winters in Vienna, with another winter coming up, and on the official statistics about snow in Vienna over the last few years.

Does it snow in Vienna, Austria in winter?

Yes, it can and does snow in Vienna in winter.

However…what I imagined snow to be like in Vienna before I moved here, compared to the actual experience of it, was drastically different.

Especially as, before I moved to Vienna, I expected to have to spend most of the winter dealing with the snow.

In fact, in five years, I have probably had to deal with snow fewer than 10 days and, even then, the snow has been minimal.

Snow really is minimal in Vienna most of the time

What months does Vienna get snow?

Officially, the period during which Vienna gets snow is between November 15th and March 15th. Snow can occur before this or after this, but it is much less likely.

The month that gets the most snow in Vienna is usually January.

Even in January, however, Vienna only averages 2.4 inches of snow in a day when it does snow, which is much lower than a city I lived in years ago — Cincinnati, Ohio — where accumulations of up to 10 inches are quite normal.

That’s why, since I moved to Vienna, I have been surprised at how little snow the city actually gets.

Do not compare Vienna to other parts of Austria, however, as Seefeld with its average of 172 inches of snow per year, Bad Aussee with its 147 inches, Obergurgl with its 192 inches and Saalbach-Hinterglemm with its 180 inches have markedly different amounts of snow than Vienna with its average of only 26 inches a year. (And we haven’t had that much since I moved here).

City of Vienna authorities quickly clear snow from the roads

The City of Vienna (Stadt Wien) clears snow quickly

Even when Vienna does get snow, City of Vienna (aka Stadt Wien) officials are extremely good at both preparing for snow and clearing snow after it does occur.

Prior to the snow season, salt grit and gravel are spread over most city streets including the sidewalks. That means, when it does snow, it is rare to find a street that is particularly icy or slippery as the grit/gravel helps melt the snow and allows you to get traction.

Thus preventing the sidewalks from becoming danger zones.

Salt trucks also appear on Vienna’s streets as soon as it begins to snow.

That often means, you can watch the snow falling at 5am as that salt truck drives by but, by the time you leave for work at 8am, all the roads have been salted, the sidewalks are graveled and salted, and it is just about as easy to walk as it is in the summer.

Property owners in Vienna are also mandated to remove the snow from sidewalks, footpaths and staircases up to 3 meters from their property.

Compare that to Cincinnati, where I lost count of how many times I fell on icy sidewalks, and in my experience, although the Viennese may not always tell you this as they do like to grumble, the City of Vienna is one of the most prepared in the world when it comes to snow.

 

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Temperature in Vienna in the winter

If you do come to Vienna in winter then, do not worry too much about having to deal with snow, as any snow we get is minimal.

From mid to end of November through the end of March, however, it can be bitterly cold with average temperatures down at freezing or below.

In other words, bring your warm clothes (see photo above), thick socks and a warm pair of boots and dealing with winter in Vienna is easy.

Michelle Topham