Violent thunderstorms predicted for Zurich and Aargau

After the hottest day of the year in Switzerland, violent thunderstorms have been predicted for Zurich and Aargau, while inclement weather is expected for much of the rest of the country.

Violent thunderstorms predicted for Zurich and Aargau
Lightning illuminates the night sky over the village of Cully surrounded by the vineyard terraces of Lavaux on the banks of Leman Lake from Chexbres. Photo: FABRICE COFFRINI / AFP

Level 3 thunderstorm warnings have been issued for the cantons of Zurich and Aargau, just one day after Switzerland’s hottest day of the year so far. 



Monday was the hottest day on record in 2020, with temperatures in the mid-30s across Switzerland. 

The predictions come at a welcome time, with fire warnings and bans issued throughout several regions. 

In Aargau, a fire ban came in for forested areas from 4pm on Tuesday, while fireworks will only be allowed more than 200 metres from the forested area. 



The warning comes just days before Switzerland’s National Day on August 1st, which is traditionally celebrated with fireworks. 

Smaller crowds, more fireworks: How Swiss National Day will be celebrated in corona times 


Heatwave hotline set up

In Zurich, authorities on Monday set up a ‘heatwave hotline’ to help to advise residents on how to behave in ever-warmer temperatures.

Quite literally a hotline, callers can get information on how to behave during the heatwave and the steps they can take to reduce its impact.

The number has been set up by the Red Cross in Zurich, but can be called by residents across Switzerland.

Hitze kann eine grosse gesundheitliche Belastung sein. Das städtische Hitze-Telefon bietet – von Juli bis September – Information und Beratung sowie kostenlose Hausbesuche während einer Hitzewelle an. ?044 412 00 60

— Rotes Kreuz Zürich (@RotesKreuz_ZH) July 28, 2020

The number is 044 412 00 60. 

Monday was the hottest day of the year so far in Switzerland, with temperatures expected to continue to climb in the coming days, particularly in Ticino and Geneva. 

Temperatures rose into the mid-30s in Basel and Geneva, while the mark of 30 degrees was breached across the country. 

Heute war vielerorts der #heisseste Tag des bisherigen Sommers 2020. In Genf gab es knapp 34 Grad, in Basel knapp 33 Grad. Im Flachland wurde vielerorts die #Hitzemarke von 30 Grad erreicht. Freitag/Samstag wird es wohl noch heisser. (rp)

— MeteoNews (@MeteoNewsAG) July 27, 2020

During the night on Monday the weather remained warm, with the mercury staying above 20 in several Swiss regions. 

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Avalanches in Switzerland kill two

Avalanches in Switzerland have left two people dead, leading officials to warn on Saturday of the risks posed by particularly unstable snow cover. A further eight people have died in neighbouring Austria

Avalanches in Switzerland kill two

In Switzerland, two off-piste skiers were killed by an avalanche Saturday morning in the southeastern canton of Graubuenden, the cantonal police said.

A third member of the group was caught up in the flow of snow but managed to escape unharmed, local police said in a statement.

The two skiers who died were a 56-year-old woman and a 52-year-old man, said police.

The rescue operation there was hampered by poor visibility and bad weather conditions, police said.

In Austria, the body of a 59-year-old man buried while helping the snow removal effort in his tractor was recovered, police in Austria’s western Tyrol region said on Sunday.

Two skiers aged 29 and 33, including a guide, who were carried off-piste on Saturday morning, were found dead in Sankt Anton am Arlberg.

And a 62-year-old man, who had not returned after cross-country skiing around the summit of Hohe Aifner, was recovered by rescuers and could not be revived, a police spokesman told AFP.

The authorities declined to give information on the nationality of the four victims recovered Sunday.

These deaths are in addition to the three killed on Saturday who were visiting Austria’s Alpine regions.

“One winter sports enthusiast was killed in an avalanche in Kaltenbach on Saturday,” a police spokesman told AFP, without giving further details of the
accident in the small Alpine village.

Austrian news agency APA reported that the victim was a 17-year-old New Zealander who was skiing off-piste.

On Friday, a 32-year-old Chinese man, who was also said to be skiing away from the designated routes, died in an avalanche in the resort of Soelden.

A third victim was found dead Saturday after being reported missing the previous day. APA reported that the man, in his 50s, had died in the Kleinwalsertal valley on Austria’s border with Germany.
Over the past two days, intensive snowfall and wind have increased the avalanche danger.

The officials in Austria have warned winter sports enthusiasts to exercise caution.

Despite the alert level being set at four on a scale of five however, many holidaymakers have ventured off the marked slopes, authorities said.

The avalanche situation also led to numerous rescue operations on Saturday, which were themselves made more dangerous by the weather conditions.

With the February school holidays underway in Vienna, Austria’s resorts have filled up, after a poor start to the season because of the lack of snow at low and medium altitudes.

In recent years, in Austria, a leading winter sports destination, avalanches have killed around twenty people a year.