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Switzerland braces for wet and wintry weather

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Switzerland braces for wet and wintry weather
Photo: Sebastian Bozon/AFP
10:04 CEST+02:00
After a wetter than usual start to spring, Switzerland is bracing for a return to wintry conditions and snow in some locations over the next few days.

Weather forecasters are predicting snow at elevations as low as 600 metres in some areas starting on Friday as a cold front descends on the country, bringing sub-zero temperatures to Alpine regions.

The canton of Graubünden in the eastern part of the country got a foretaste of things to come when heavy snow closed the road through the San Bernadino Pass on Wednesday night.

Tages Anzeiger reported that numerous vehicles were stranded and it said that roads will not be fully cleared until Thursday afternoon.

MeteoSwiss, the national weather office, predicts more snowfall in the pass, as well as places such as Samedan in Graubünden, where the high on Friday is expected to be only two degrees and Andermatt, in the canton of Uri, where the mercury will hover either side of zero.

Snow is also expected in Zermatt, the mountain resort town of Valais.

Most of Switzerland’s major cities can anticipate rain and cool conditions, with temperatures ranging between five and nine degrees in Zurich.

In Geneva, the national forecaster is calling for blustery conditions and a high of 11 degrees, with slightly cooler conditions on Saturday.

A return to more clement weather is only expected on Monday, when sunshine is predicted across the country and highs of up to 18 in places such as Geneva and Lugano in the canton of Ticino.

The Italian-speaking canton has suffered repeated flooding over the past few weeks, with Lake Maggiore and other lakes bursting beyond their banks.

Earlier this week, heavy rain washed out an access road to the mountain resort community of Les Crosets, in the canton of Valais, for the second time in a month.

The road to the resort, part of the Portes du Soleil ski area, is closed to traffic while repairs continue.

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