Swiss winter kicks off with heavy snowfall in many areas

Many parts of Switzerland were covered with snow over the weekend but the overall weather picture was one of extremes.

Swiss winter kicks off with heavy snowfall in many areas
The Rhine Valley in St Gallen on Sunday. Photo: The Local

Large parts of the country saw snowfall on Saturday and Sunday with 40–70 centimetres falling in the south-eastern canton of Graubünden.

The highest snowfall in Graubünden – 73 centimetres – was registered in St. Antönien while the cantonal capital of Chur registered 25 centimetres.

Many parts of the Swiss plateau were also blanketed, but western Switzerland, Valais and north-western Switzerland saw no new white stuff.

Police received numerous reports of traffic accidents although most did not result in injury.

An accident in Rapperswil-Jona. Photo: St Gallen Cantonal Police

In the canton of Aargau, a salt spreader tipped over, as can been seen in the image below.

Meanwhile, Switzerland’s Italian-speaking canton of Ticino enjoyed spring-like conditions with temperatures around 15 degrees.

The  Locarno-Magadino weather station registered an overnight temperature of above 11 degrees on Saturday to Sunday – the highest January minimum since records began in 1959, according to private weather service MeteoNews.





One last weekend getaway. #lugano #ticino #switzerland #weekendgetaway

A post shared by elinor ? (@__elinor) on Jan 6, 2019 at 6:24am PST

A cold week is now expected north of the Alps, while it will continue to be bright in Ticino with temperatures around 10C. 

The avalanche risk remains elevated across the Alps. Two people died in separate avalanches late last week.


Winter weather to continue in Switzerland this week

Despite the sunshine of late March, winter has made a comeback in Switzerland. Here’s is what’s ahead this week.

Winter weather to continue in Switzerland this week

Swiss residents going through the latter stages of March, with its sunny skies and ‘Sahara dust’ would have been forgiven for thinking the time was right to put the winter jacket away. 

However, winter-like weather is back in Switzerland, having swept across the country as March turned into April. 

Around 50cm of snow fell on parts of Switzerland over the past few days, bringing with it unseasonably cold temperatures to wipe out the springlike weather of late March.

READ MORE: Everything that changes in Switzerland in April 2022

Swiss meteorological service MeteoNews reported that the snowfall brought welcome relief, particularly in central and lower Valais, in parts of Ticino and in most of Graubünden, cutting the risks of forest fires. 

This week temperatures are expected to rise but only slightly, with MeteoNews forecasting between 7 and 10 degrees and rain through Tuesday.

Wednesday should be sunny and about 13 degrees, followed by changeable and windy weather in the second half of the week.

After that, temperatures should continue to increase, with 20 degrees forecast for much of the country from mid-April onwards. 

It is too early to forecast with certainty what the weather will be like over Easter, but we will keep you posted!

You can follow the forecast for your area here.