Areas of Switzerland saw record snowfall for the month of May overnight from Saturday into Sunday. Most snow fell in the central and eastern alpine regions, but the most dramatic records were observed in lower-lying Bern and St Gallen.
The Swiss capital of Bern woke up to four centimetres of fresh snow on Sunday morning. The previous record for the month was one centimetre in 1945.
The eastern city of St Gallen saw 19 centimetres of snow, up from the 12 centimetres recorded on May 7, 1957, according to the Swiss meteorological service MeteoSwissexternal link.
People have been advised not to take walks in wooded areas, especially in deciduous regions, as wet snow caught in trees could cause branches to fall off.
Weather forecasters have warned of further problems likely to be caused by the unseasonal cold snap next early week. MeteoSwiss forecasts sharp groundfrost in the lowlands on Monday and Tuesday.
Vineyards and the strawberry crop may be threatened by these adverse weather conditions. Two years’ ago, the Swiss fruit farming industry suffered heavy losses as a result of late frosts. Vineyards were badly hit, as were cherry, apricot and apple harvests.
However, the damage is predicted to be less severe this time around as the frost will come a few weeks later, after many trees have already blossomed.