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Rain and gale-force winds: Storms continue to whip Switzerland

After a relatively calm weekend in many parts of the country, the storm ‘Antonia’ hit Switzerland on Sunday and will continue into Monday night at least.

Stormy waters: rain and gusty winds are whipping lake shores. Photo by Dziana Hasanbekava from Pexels
Stormy waters: rain and gusty winds are whipping lake shores. Photo by Dziana Hasanbekava from Pexels

Antonia depression swept through Switzerland overnight, bringing rain and strong gusts of wind, measured at nearly 100 kilometres per hour over a large part of the country, including Zurich.

In some regions, like Chasseral in canton Bern, winds were even stronger: a gust of 164 km/h was measured on Monday morning, and the gusts reached a peak of 147 km / h at Säntis, Appenzell Innerrhoden.

The degree of danger is 3 out of 5, which corresponds to a “marked risk” — that is, “weather events with an intensity at the limit of the norm for the season”, according to the Natural Hazards Portal.

This colour coded map shows the degree of dangers in Switzerland: yellow means moderate danger, orange considerable danger, and red high danger.

Image by Natural Hazards Portal

This is what you should be aware of

Natural Hazards Portal is warning the population to stay away from the shores of lakes, groups of trees exposed to the wind forest roads and tree-lined paths, as well as other areas exposed to the wind.

While the intensity of rain and winds is expected to subside by the evening, some dangers may remain over the next few days.

Between 30 to 60 centimetres of fresh snow is forecast over much of the mountains between Monday and Tuesday morning. In some parts of the Alps, the snowline is dropping from the altitude of 1,200 to about 700 metres.

While this is good news for skiers, dangers abound as well.

Stormy winds are causing increasingly large snowdrift accumulations, which can come off  easily, causing avalanches, according to the Institute for the Study of Snow. The avalanche danger is particularly high in Valais.

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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.