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Heavy April snowfall heightens Swiss avalanche risk

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Heavy April snowfall heightens Swiss avalanche risk
a freshly snow-covered landscape field near Sottens in the canton of Vaud on Thursday. Photo: AFP
09:40 CEST+02:00
UPDATED: Heavy snow caused problems for road and rail traffic in Switzerland on Thursday. The town of Andermatt in the canton of Uri was only accessible by train on Friday morning.

After a healthy dose of spring weather, winter made a return in the early hours of Wednesday with the country waking on Thursday to cold, wet – and sometimes white – conditions.

Up to a metre and a half of new snow has fallen in the Alps in the last 24 hours while the Swiss plateau also saw snowfall during the day on Thursday.

The heaviest snowfalls were seen in central Switzerland and in the western part of the canton of Ticino.

Traffic on the crucial north–south A2 axis was subject to regular delays during the day.

The town of Andermatt was cut off from the outside world on Thursday with train and road links closed because of the risk of avalanches. As of Friday morning, it was only reachable by train, according to Swiss media.

The snowfall is expected to stop overnight. However, the Swiss Institute for Snow and Avalanche Research (SLF) has issued a warning stating that the avalanche risk will be “high” (level 4 of 5) in some areas on Friday.

The avalanche risk in Switzerland for Friday April 5th. Image: SLF

Meanwhile, weather conditions across the country tomorrow will be far less wintry with temperatures ranging from 7–12C north of the Alps and hitting highs of 17C in Ticino.

 
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