Weather warning and wildfires: Switzerland bakes under new heatwave

The Local
The Local - [email protected] • 23 Jul, 2019 Updated Tue 23 Jul 2019 21:00 CEST
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Switzerland has triggered a weather warning for scorching temperatures and possible wildfires as highs of 40C are expected in the coming days.

With highs of up to 40C possible on Wednesday and Thursday, the heatwave alert comes with a level five danger warning in certain parts of the country. 

The northern part of the Alpes, Valais and south Tessin are all hotspots where the extreme heat could trigger wildfires, hence the government’s safety worries. 

Elsewhere, areas including Pully, Vevey and Neuchâtel won’t see lows under 25C during the evenings thanks to high humidity around lake areas.

In other parts of the country, lower levels of humidity than back in June, mean that this month's weather should feel more bearable. 

Switzerland's lakes are set for tropical nights. Photo: APF

Didier Ulrich, meteorologist at the Federal Office of Meteorology and Climatology, announced the start of the heatwave on Tuesday and began the alert which will last at least until Friday.

He said: “There’s still an uncertainty about the end of the heatwave alert but a stormy disturbance should put an end to it by Saturday.”

The west of Switzerland looks to be the coolest area, with St Moritz not climbing over the 27C mark, whereas Basel in the north has the greatest potential of hitting temperatures near the 40C mark. 

Geneva is set to hit 37C on Wednesday, while Zurich is forecast to reach 34C.

The country’s all-time record was set at 41.5C in August 2003, so although this week will be hot, it’s unlikely to be record-breaking. 

The Swiss government has warned that anyone experiencing a confused state, nausea or muscle cramps should seek medical help immediately.

Those most likely to be affected are: 

- Children under 5 years of age

- People working outside or in a physically demanding role

- Elderly people

- Isolated people

- Those with chronic illness or mental health issues

- Socially disadvantaged people including the homeless

- Pets



The Local 2019/07/23 21:00

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