Storms loom as heatwave continues into weekend

Switzerland is in for a weekend of soaring temperatures. But heavy storms will spell a change in the forecast from Sunday afternoon.

Storms loom as heatwave continues into weekend
Light clothing is recommended. Photo:Patrick Hutter.jpg

Weather forecasters are advising people to drink plenty and eat light meals.

On Friday temperatures reached 34 degrees in the Swiss plateau. And on Saturday they are expected to climb further.

Weather services sounded the alarm, saying ozone levels were also on the rise.

“On Saturday it will be 34 to 36 degrees celsius in the west, and in Valais up to 37 degrees,” Reto Vögeli of MeteoNews told

“Then on Sunday it will be the same in the east.” With a warm wind blowing the Rhine valley will heat up to 37 degrees.

But from Sunday afternoon a sudden change is expected.

“A cold front will bring widespread storms with the potential to become violent,”

Vögeli said.

These will first affect western Switzerland, including the Jura region and the Bernese Oberland. From the evening eastern areas will also be affected, with heavy rain in places.

“In some places basements could even be flooded,” the meteorologist told

In contrast to the weekend, Monday will be a moderate 24 to 26 degrees.

But the hot temperatures are set to return in the course of next week.

The forecast for Switzerland’s national day on August 1st is for very sunny and hot weather.

With the risk of forest fires continuing, a ban on fireworks is possible in some places, the 20 Minuten website said.

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Switzerland to get rain this week — at last

After weeks of very hot and dry weather, which have caused drought in many parts of the country, rain is forecast for Switzerland in coming days. But the reprieve from the heat will be temporary.

Switzerland to get rain this week — at last

While some areas of Switzerland have been hit by thunderstorms in the past days, providing some relief for agriculture and nature in general, the amount of rain has not been sufficient to counteract the effects of drought that has impacted much of the country.

The water levels of Lakes Constance, Walen, Lucerne and Lugano have reached historic lows, according to the Federal Office for the Environment (FOEN).

Continued drought has also impacted some rivers, including the Rhine, whose levels are “strongly to moderately” below average for the season, FOEN said.

The good news is that “the alarming situation on the drought front will finally ease somewhat in the coming days thanks to the return of the rains», according to Vincent Devantay, meteorologist at MeteoNews weather service.

The rains will begin on Wednesday afternoon, intensifying by the weekend, and “several areas of more or less active showers will finally follow one another until Saturday”, Devantay said.

By Saturday, these rainfall amounts are expected, according to MeteoNews:

  • Plateau, Lake Geneva basin, Valais Alps: 20 to 50 litres per square-metre
  • Jura Arc, Gruyère: 30 to 60 l/m2
  • Central Valais: 15 to 30 l/m2
  • Pre-Alps, Vaud Alps, Chablais: 40 to 80 l/m2
  • North of Switzerland: 10 to 30 l/m2
  • Central Switzerland, Ticino and Bernese Oberland: 50 to 100 l/m2

“These rains will bring some relief from the drought, but it would take several weeks of almost daily rain to see a real and lasting improvement”, Devantay said.

The rain will also bring in “much cooler temperatures”, but the summer weather will make a comeback from Sunday, “with increasingly warm temperatures and no clear deterioration is in sight for the future”.
 READ MORE: Body stress, drought and borders: How the heatwave affects Switzerland