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Sudden appearance of winter leaves tourists shivering

One thing tourists coming to Switzerland don't expect is snow in July. But unseasonably low temperatures have brought snow to many parts of canton Graubünden, blocking alpine passes and causing traffic chaos.

In what is traditionally one of the hottest months of the year, July has so far proved a disappointment to both visitors and locals alike. In recent days, much of the country has been deluged by violent thunderstorms.

Arguably the worst place to be was canton Graubünden, in which large areas have disappeared under a blanket of unseasonal snow.

Parts of the San-Bernardino route had to be closed temporarily and snow chains were obligatory on the Flüela, Julier and Splügen passes after up to 30 centimetres of new snow fell on Tuesday.

The snow took tourists by surprise in the resorts of Arosa, Davos and St. Moritz.

Across the country temperatures plunged as low as 13 degrees celsius and meteorologists said it was the first time since 1993 that there had been such a cold snap in July.

swissinfo with agencies

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SWI - a branch of Swiss Broadcasting Corporation SRG SSR

SWI - a branch of Swiss Broadcasting Corporation SRG SSR