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WEATHER

WATCH: ‘Fog avalanche’ rolls over mountain ridge in Swiss Jura

A new video taken by cross-country skiers shows beautiful fog waves cresting a ridge in the Jura mountains of western Switzerland.

WATCH: 'Fog avalanche' rolls over mountain ridge in Swiss Jura
The Swiss Jura is known for its fog waves.

Tourism authorities in the Jura & Three-Lakes region posted the video online on Monday and it has now been seen thousands of times.

Fog waves are something of a meteorological speciality in the Jura range of Switzerland with the Belchenflue mountain on the borders of the cantons of Basel-Landschaft and Soluthurn offering ideal conditions, according to Swiss daily NZZ.

A combination of geographic and weather conditions is required for fog avalanches to form.

A long, flat ridge is required. The windward side of the ridge needs to have a long steep slope – ideally a cliff – fronted by several kilometres of level country.

On the other side of the ridge, which is sheltered from the wind, the slope needs to be less steep so that the fog can slowly drift downwards.

At the same time, to get conditions like those seen in the Jura on the weekend, you need an upper fog line at the same altitude as – or just above – the ridge line.

A high-pressure area is also needed to ensure stable atmospheric conditions. In addition, the wind must also be blowing down on the ridge line as close as possible to vertical so that fog can be pushed along. Otherwise, it dissipates immediately.

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WEATHER

Weather: Switzerland prepares for ‘record-breaking’ hot summer

The hot weather of the past week makes us wonder what the summer months will be like in Switzerland. Will we walk around in shorts and flip-flops or thermal underwear and boots? Find out what the experts say.

Weather: Switzerland prepares for 'record-breaking' hot summer

It has been hot in much of Switzerland over the last few days, with temperatures exceeding 30 degrees in some parts of the country.  But this is just a ‘foretaste’ of what lies ahead.

While this week is expected to be a bit cooler — more seasonal lower 20s —forecasts for the summer months call for even more intense heat.

“It will be hotter than usual,” according to Thomas Buchel, head of SRF Meteo.

“New heat records are very likely. It would be surprising if it went in another direction”, he said.

While it is too early now to predict just how hot it will get, the temperatures in certain Swiss regions “could hit 40 degrees”, Buchel pointed out.

This is close to this century’s previous “hottest” summer on record — 41.5 degrees measured in Grono, Graubünden 2003.

Another meteorologist, Joshua Gehring from the official weather service MeteoSwiss, said hotter weather “is a direct consequence of climate change”.

Specifically, a phenomenon called “heat dome” is hovering over Europe. It is, according to Gehring, “a stagnant anticyclone that acts as a lid to accumulate and retain heat”.

READ MORE: Heatwave: Why is it so hot in Switzerland right now?

But the environment is not the only one that is “suffering”, as it were, from this phenomenon.

According to 20 Minutes, “nearly 400 million francs are lost each year in Switzerland due to the heatwave and the drop in productivity that it causes in companies. That’s twice as much as the seasonal flu”.

“What is ideal for swimming or barbecuing cripples the economy. When working outdoors, performance drops quickly at such high temperatures”.

The Federal Office of Meteorology (MeteoSwiss) confirmed the dangers of extremely high temperatures on humans and nature alike.

“Periods of hot weather place extreme stress on the human body and can endanger health. Among other things, they can trigger cardiovascular and respiratory conditions and impair mental and physical performance”, MeteoSwiss writes.

“A hot spell can also have adverse effects on nature and infrastructure. For example, bodies of water often heat up considerably, causing fish to die, while high temperatures can lead to buckling of road surfaces and deformation of railway tracks”.

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

So if you are a summer enthusiast and thrive in hot weather, you can look forward to sizzling temps.

But f you are more of a “cold” person, this article from April of this year may bring back fond memories:

Winter weather to continue in Switzerland this week

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