Switzerland set for cold snap this week

After several days of relatively mild temperatures, snow in the plains and a cold snap are expected in Switzerland in the next few days.

Switzerland set for cold snap this week
That's what parts of the country may look like this week. Photo by AFP

The disturbance that will cross the north of the Alps Wednesday night could dump four to eight cm of fresh snow on the Plateau Romand, according to a forecast by Federal Office of Meteorology and Climatology (Meteosuisse).

Then the snow will give way to a particularly cold wind.

The plains should be covered with a snowpack of a few centimetres. The northern Plateau could receive up to eight cm of fresh snow due to a cold draft in the region. 

On the other hand, on the shores of Lake Geneva below 500 m, as well as in the Rhône valley, the snow should not exceed three cm. It is more likely to rain or rain-snow at lower elevations, Meteosuisse reports.

The rest of the week will also be significantly colder due an influx of polar air.

On the plateau, the temperature could drop to -8 to -12 degrees Centigrade.

READ MORE: Weather warning: Part of Swiss Alps placed on high avalanche alert

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Winter weather disrupts Swiss rail traffic

Extremely cold weather that hit parts of Switzerland during the night from Thursday to Friday caused technical problems, delays, and train cancellations on some lines.

Winter weather disrupts Swiss rail traffic

As temperatures in some parts of the country plummeted into double digits below zero, train traffic suffered as well, with some lines still impacted by the weather.
The most affected on the Swiss railway network is the Simplon line, which connects Lausanne with Brig (VS), as well as the Romont (FR) -Palézieux (VD) line, where trains were delayed due to frozen train switches.
Swiss Federal Railways (CFF) are working around the clock to repair any breakdowns and get the trains moving again.
“We have teams on alert ready to deploy,” SBB spokesperson Jean-Philippe Schmidt told Swiss media.

In addition, the switches are heated to prevent them from freezing
This is an important measure, Schmidt said, because “this device allows us to avoid total chaos on the network and to restore regular traffic as quickly as possible.”

There is no word yet about how quickly the traffic will return to normal.

From one extreme weather to another

This situation is the opposite of what the SBB experienced in July 2022 during what has been described as the worst heatwave in decades.

At that time, rail traffic was disrupted because the tracks on which the trains and trams run were impacted by high temperatures. causing the so-called “track warping,” when tracks expand, deform, and become a safety hazard.

READ MORE : How the heatwave has impacted train travel in Switzerland