July marked by a cold spell

After a hot and dry spring and early summer, the weather has taken a cold turn in Switzerland, with snow fall recorded down to 2,000 metres in places on Wednesday.

This content was published on July 20, 2011 - 21:06 and agencies

According to national television forecasters at SF Meteo, temperatures in July, which has been marked by heavy rainfall and storms, are around 0.5 degrees lower than normal.

Snow caused the partial closure of the Nufenen Pass in the Alps until the afternoon and snow chains were required on vehicles on the Flüela Pass in canton Graubünden.

Mountaineer John Harlin, whose attempt to follow the Swiss border is being documented on on Border Stories (see link), also suffered cold comfort.  

“Woke up this morning to a crust of ice inside my tent. Each gust of wind flapped the walls, causing ice to shower down onto my bag,” he wrote, not far from Piz Ursera (3,032m), in Graubünden.

Overall, however, this July is not as cold as in 1980, when it was two degrees Celsius lower on average.

Nevertheless, rainfall has been strong with 400 millimetres recorded in the Maggia Valley in Ticino since the beginning of the month and 370mm in Locarno. This is around a quarter of annual precipitation for this region. At Zurich airport, 50 per cent more rain has fallen than usual for this time of year.

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