Driven by north-westerly winds, polar air hit Switzerland on the weekend, with snow falling above 1,200m, said MeteoSuisse.
On Monday up to 50cms of snow fell in places, with the snow line dropping from 2,500m on Saturday to around 1,000m on Monday morning.
Snowfall was at its deepest in the east of the country, said MeteoNews.
The snow caused many alpine passes to close on Monday.
According to automobile association Touring Club Switzerland (TCS), passes including the Susten, Grimsel, Fluela, Furka, St Gotthard and San Bernardino were all closed on Monday.
Others, including the Great St Bernard pass, were open but snow-covered, with TCS advising cars be properly equipped for winter driving.
The view from the Grimsel Hospiz, on the Grimsel pass, on Tuesday morning. Photo: webcam
Only the canton of Ticino was spared the chill, with temperatures remaining over 20 degrees and no precipitation, influenced by an anticyclone over the Mediterranean, said news agency ATS.
As for the rest of the country, winter is likely to disappear as quickly as it arrived. Mild, dry weather is expected to return in the middle of the week, said MeteoNews.
The wintry blip spoiled an otherwise golden autumn in Switzerland, which has experienced weeks of blue skies and mild temperatures.