Northern exposure: Swiss winter makes March comeback

It's a case of "now you see me, now you don't" as the Swiss spring takes a break in the north of the country.

Northern exposure: Swiss winter makes March comeback
Photo: George Mills

After a snowy weekend in some places, much of Switzerland is set for a cold and grey start to this week with maximum temperatures in the north of the country only just above freezing.

While Geneva can expect to bask in a decidedly more spring-like maximum temperature of 8C on Monday, in Zurich, Bern and Basel the mercury is set to top out at 3C. Meanwhile, in St Gallen it will be a decidedly cold -1C.

There isn’t much relief in sight either: weather in the north of Switzerland is expected to remain on the chilly side until the weekend. Night time temperatures will be between -3C and -6C up until Friday. On the plus side, skies should brighten from Tuesday onwards.

And while this week’s relatively cold spell has nothing on the arctic front that slammed Switzerland recently, SRF Meteo noted that is unusual to get some many cold days in a row from mid-March on.

Source: Meteosuisse

The northwest of the country has borne the brunt of the recent weather. With a top temperature of -0.9C, Basel on Sunday shivered through its coldest March 18th since 1975. It was also the second coldest March 18th on record.

The city of Basel also saw some five centimetres of new snow while the Basel region and the canton of Solothurn were blanketed with up to ten centimetres of the white stuff.




9,000 lightning bolts: Heavy storms sweep across Switzerland

Hurricane-like gusts have swept across much of Switzerland on Sunday and Monday. Weather experts have counted at least 9,000 lightning bolts striking since Sunday.

9,000 lightning bolts: Heavy storms sweep across Switzerland

As of Monday morning however, the storms have largely receded in most of the country. 

Swiss weather service Meteonews said the canton of Bern was the heaviest hit, with 2,500 lightning strikes. 

Around 850 were recorded in Uri, followed by Fribourg, Vaud and St Gallen. 

Winds of 111km/h were recorded on the Weissfluhjoch summit, while wind speeds of 85km/h were recorded in Meiringen and Sitten. 

Monday will experience some winds, but will largely be sunny. 

Temperatures of 24C degrees are predicted in the north of the country, while heights of 30C are predicted for the centre and south.