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Waterspouts form over Swiss lakes as cold weather hits

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The waterspout over Lake Zurich on Sunday. Photo: Daniel Gerstgrasser
09:40 CEST+02:00
Waterspouts were sighted over Lake Zurich, Lake Constance and Lake Zug on Sunday morning, in what is a relatively rare phenomenon for Switzerland.

This natural phenomenon forms when layers of unstable cold air make contact with a body of warm water, weather service SRF Meteo reported.

Although waterspouts are rare in Switzerland, when they do occur it is usually at this time of year as air temperatures take a dip towards autumn.

After a cold front passed across much of Switzerland on the weekend, air temperatures dropped dramatically while water temperatures were stable.

On Sunday morning, the water temperature in Lake Zurich was 23C while the air temperature lakeside was a chilly 9C.

“[Waterspouts] usually last a few minutes then quickly disappear,” said Eugen Müller with Meteo Schweiz.

Waterspouts over bodies of water are different from tornadoes over land and do not generally cause wide-scale damage, the meteorologist added.

While temperatures in Switzerland were well down over the weekend, the weather is set to warm up again over the next days, as the long summer of 2018 makes a reprise.

Read also: Have we seen the last 'hot' day of the summer?

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