In pics: Switzerland sees first snow of the winter

After a long summer and a warm autumn, parts of Switzerland saw heavy snowfall on the weekend, while authorities have issues an alert about possible flooding and landslides as heavy rain hits the south of the country.

In pics: Switzerland sees first snow of the winter
File image of a tourist at the Jungfraujoch in the Swiss canton of Bern. Photo: AFP

The snow came on Saturday night, just as the clocks were turned back an hour marking the end of Central European Summer Time.

The heaviest falls were seen in the eastern Alps with large parts of the canton of Graubünden over 1,200 metres above sea level seeing 30–70 centimetres of new snow.





#eurasierinthesnow #prewintermornings #graubünden

A post shared by Reto Jäger (@swisshuntergr) on Oct 28, 2018 at 2:29am PDT






First snow of the season ❄ as seen by @ellunas

A post shared by Graubünden (@graubuenden) on Oct 28, 2018 at 12:46am PDT

The Graubünden resort town of Arosa notched up the heaviest snowfall with 72 centimetres. Parts of southern Valais also saw 20–30 centimetres of the white stuff while the city of La Chaux-de-Fonds in Jura had nine centimetres.





WINTER GREETINGS . 28 October 2018 It is the first kiss of winter – at least in the alps. I was so excited like a little child – even more than @rastawhiteshepherd ???. For me – when all around is white – I feel like I am in a fairytale… maybe as a red haired witch ?‍♀️?????? . . . #exploretheworld #nikondeutschland #ic_landscapes #loves_mountains #inlovewithswitzerland #blickheimat #hoherkasten #destination_Switzerland #switzerland_vacations #switzerlandpictures #super_switzerland #splendid_nature #splendid_earth #visitswitzerland #wonderful_places #best_earthscapes #nikonswitzerland #splendid_nature #splendid_earth #visitswitzerland #wonderful_places #best_earthscapes #earthfocus #winteriscoming

A post shared by Sylvia Michel ?? (@michelphotography_ch) on Oct 28, 2018 at 7:47am PDT


Meanwhile, the canton of Ticino was hit by very heavy rains over the weekend. On Sunday, some places in the canton experienced more than a months' average rainfall in less than 24 hours.

These heavy rains are set to continue until Tuesday, with parts of Valais and Ticino to be hardest hit. Authorities have issues warnings about possible landslides, mudslides and flooding across the south of the country. Gale force winds are also expected.

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Heatwave: Why is it so hot in Switzerland right now?

Not so long ago we complained about the cold and rainy weather in Switzerland, wishing for sunnier and warmer days. Our wish has come true — but why exactly is it so hot and what can we expect for the coming weeks?

Heatwave: Why is it so hot in Switzerland right now?

The temps have reached high 20s across much of Switzerland in the past days, but the best (or the worst, depending on who you ask) is yet to come: meteorologists forecast the high of 32 degrees for Friday.

“The current heat wave is relatively extreme for a month of May”, meteorologist Joshua Gehring from official weather service MeteoSwiss said in an interview with Watson news platform.

Why is it so unseasonably hot right now?

One reason should come as no surprise to anyone: “What we are currently experiencing, that is to say a relatively early heat wave, is a direct consequence of climate change”, Gehring noted.

READ MORE: EXPLAINED: How the climate crisis is hitting Europe hard

Specifically, a phenomenon called “heat dome” is hovering over Europe. It is, according to Gehring, “a stagnant anticyclone that acts as a lid to accumulate and retain heat”.

This is pretty much what happens when you put a lid over a boiling pot — the heat therein is captured and can’t escape.

What can we expect for next week?

The forecast calls for the heat wave to end from the beginning of next week, with more seasonal, 20-degree-plus temperatures expected throughout the country.

This is what the forecast looks like for Tuesday:

MeteoSwiss screenshot

What can you do in the meantime to cool down?

Indoor air-conditioning is rare in Switzerland, but keeping cool is easier outdoors.

For instance, the abundance of lakes and rivers in Switzerland provides a welcome relief on hot days.

And if you like swimming pools, the good news is (at least during a heat wave) that some are turning off heating to boycott Russian gas, so you could have a nice, cool swim.

READ MORE: Swiss pools go cold in boycott of Russian gas

Also, most public fountains in Switzerland spout cold water you can drink and splash yourself with.

If all else falls, head for the glaciers (while they last).