Cold front ends tropical weekend in Switzerland

Temperatures are set to plummet this week, putting an end to the weekend heatwave.

Cold front ends tropical weekend in Switzerland
File photo: Paul Asman/Jill Lenoble

During the tropical night of Friday to Saturday the mercury stayed above 20 degrees in many areas of the country.

The sticky night ushered in a dry, hot weekend with temperatures soaring to 34 degrees in Sion and Geneva, and 33 in Zurich, said MeteoSuisse.

The warm weather helped to bring record numbers out for Switzerland’s biggest hip hop festival in Frauenfeld, with 170,000 attending over the three days, up from 133,000 last year, reported news agencies.  

Others spent some of it shut in their cars as the start of the Swiss summer holiday season meant a seven kilometre tailback at the Gotthard road tunnel.

The heatwave was short-lived, however, with storms and rain forecast for Monday and Tuesday. As a taster of things to come, storms hit the region of Engelberg in central Switzerland on Sunday evening.


This week temperatures are set to fall by 10-12 degrees across the country, said MeteoSuisse, with around 30-50mm of rain expected between Monday afternoon and Tuesday evening.

However warmer weather should return towards the end of the week.

Source: MeteoSuisse

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2022 sees record wildfire destruction in Europe: EU

Europe's blistering summer may not be over yet, but 2022 is already breaking records, with nearly 660,000 hectares ravaged since January, according to the EU's satellite monitoring service.

2022 sees record wildfire destruction in Europe: EU

And while countries on the Mediterranean have normally been the main seats of fires in Europe, this year, other countries are also suffering heavily.

Fires this year have forced people to flee their homes, destroyed buildings and burned forests in EU countries, including Austria, Croatia, France, Greece, Italy, Portugal and Spain.

Some 659,541 hectares (1.6 million acres) have been destroyed so far, data from the European Forest Fire Information System (EFFIS) showed, setting a record at this point in the year since data collection began in 2006.

Europe has suffered a series of heatwaves, forest fires and historic drought that experts say are being driven by human-induced climate change.

They warn more frequent and longer heatwaves are on the way.

The worst-affected country has been Spain, where fire has destroyed 244,924 hectares, according to EFFIS data.

The EFFIS uses satellite data from the EU’s Copernicus Atmosphere Monitoring Service (CAMS).

READ ALSO: EXPLAINED: How the climate crisis is hitting Europe hard

The data comes after CAMS said Friday that 2022 was a record year for wildfire activity in southwestern Europe and warned that a large proportion of western Europe was now in “extreme fire danger”.

“2022 is already a record year, just below 2017,” EFFIS coordinator Jesus San-Miguel said. In 2017, 420,913 hectares had burned by August 13, rising to 988,087 hectares by the end of the year.

“The situation in terms of drought and extremely high temperatures has affected all of Europe this year and the overall situation in the region is worrying, while we are still in the middle of the fire season,” he said.

Since 2010, there had been a trend towards more fires in central and northern Europe, with fires in countries that “normally do not experience fires in their territory”, he added.

“The overall fire season in the EU is really driven mainly by countries in the Mediterranean region, except in years like this one, in which fires also happen in central and northern regions,” he added.