What are the chances Switzerland will have white Christmas this year?

Helena Bachmann
Helena Bachmann - [email protected]
What are the chances Switzerland will have white Christmas this year?
White Christmas is uncertain at this point. Photo: Pixabay

After a heavy snowfall that hit most of Swiss regions earlier in the week, you may be wondering if there will be more of the same for Christmas.


Theoretically at least, the romanticised idea of a white Christmas, jingle bells, and horse-drawn carriages dashing through the snow, is very enticing — unless you have to drive on icy roads.

Seriously though, for many people in Switzerland, and in the Northern Hemisphere in general, a snowy Christmas, followed by a likewise snowy New Year’s Eve, is the ultimate experience. 

However, according to Switzerland’s official meteorological service MeteoSwiss, snow was rare at low altitudes even before we became aware of the ravages of global warming.  

“Green Christmases are actually more common than white ones on the Swiss Plateau,” MeteoSwiss notes. “For instance, there was no snow at Christmas in 60 percent of the observed years from 1931 onwards in the central and eastern Swiss lowlands. In western and northwestern Switzerland, the number was even higher, with a green Christmas in 75 percent of the years."

Will we have it this year?

“We can hope for it, but probably not expect it,” according to Roger Perret, a meteorologist at MeteoNews weather service — although scattered snowflakes can't be ruled out.

Since copious amounts of snow fell on Monday, disrupting road and rail traffic, there has been a continuous thaw for the rest of the week.

Short-term forecasts call for largely snow-free lowlands (though there is abundant snow for skiing at medium and high-altitude resorts), with sunny periods alternating with rain, and relatively mild (for the season) temperatures during daytime.


But Perret said it is too early to forecast Christmas weather accurately.

“To establish a more reliable prognosis, we will have to wait a little longer,” he pointed out. “Because at the moment, the weather is extremely changeable.

“A white Christmas is unlikely, but not impossible.”


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