Austria just had the warmest half year ever. It has never been so warm between April and September since they started measuring. And they've been measuring for a long time. Temperatures in Austria have been measured since 1767 and the last half year has been the warmest in 251 years.
The temperature only plunged for a maximum of 6 days below the long-term average in the past six months. And that is not surprising when we look back. April acted like it was May and the summer went down as the one of the hottest summers ever measured (it took the fourth spot out of a total of 251 summers). It is on average 5 degrees warmer (even now mid September) compared to what is normal for the time of the year.
Besides being too warm, the last half year was also very dry. Since 1860 (start of precipitation measurements) it has never been this dry in the west of Austria and in the rest of Austria it was 15% drier than what is normal.
According to Alexander Orlik, climate expert at the Austrian weather agency ZAMG, the particular heat and drought of the past six months is due to the changing climate on the one hand and the natural deviations that are normal in everyday weather. What made summer 2018 so special is the dominance of very stable and powerful high-pressure areas. Especially at the start of the summer, these were dominant and set the tone for warmer and drier weather than what's normal for the time of the year. In addition, there has been a clear warming of the climate in recent years. The mix of climate change (temperature rise) and stable summer weather have pushed measured temperatures to record levels.
The summer weather in Austria will come to an end this weekend. The temperature will (temporarily) drop with the arrival of an Atlantic storm towards normal temperatures for the time of year and will be between 15 and 23 degrees.