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Climate in Switzerland

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Table of contents:

  1. Introduction
  2. Climate Information
  3. Precipitation and Elevation
  4. Temperature and Elevation
  5. Weather Forecast for Switzerland

Hint: If you are not familiar with our metric unit system, see explanations about metric versus U.S. unit systems


Throughout Switzerland, there are hundreds of stations which collect meteorological data every day. The records go back about 200 years and are kept and maintained by Meteo Schweiz, formerly known as "Schweizerische Meteorologische Anstalt" (SMA). Unfortunately, Meteo Schweiz does not grant access this data, even tough they get founds from our taxes. If we want to know how much it rained yesterday or twenty years ago, we have to pay for this information. The information presented here are based on various public sources. The author has taken every effort to make sure the data is correct, however, there is no guarantee for correctness and completeness of the information provided here.

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Climate Information:

The weather in Switzerland varies greatly between different places. The highest precipitation receives Rochers de Nave, a mountain near Montreux (VD) with approximately 260 cm per year. Precipitation is generally higher in the western part of Switzerland where often clouds come in from the Atlantic coast. Also the parts south of the Alps get quite some rain, Lugano (TI) for example receives about 175 cm per year. If the winds blow in clouds from the south, they get blocked at the Alps and drop their water. Usually this causes dry and warm weather north of the Alps, often accompanied with heavy winds and an extremely good view where the mountains appear much closer than they are. This phenomena is known as Foehn ("Föhn"). Many people claim that they get headaches under these conditions.
On the other hand, the valleys Engadin in the very east and Valais in the southwest of Switzerland receive relatively little precipitation. Scuol (GR) receives about 70 cm, Staldenried (VS) about 53 cm.

The average amount of sunshine per year is approximately 1700 hours. Some villages in the canton Valais claim that they get as much as 2300 hours of sunshine per year.

Swiss map with locations for which climate information is available Climate in Sion Climate in Stabio Climate in Lugano Climate in Locarno Climate in Zermatt Climate in Geneva Climate in Visp Climate in Montana Climate in Aigle Climate on Mount La Dôle Climate in San Bernardino Climate in Adelboden Climate in Pully Climate in Samedan Climate on Le Moléson Climate in Disentis Climate in Interlaken Climate in Scuol Climate in Davos Climate in Engelberg Climate in Payerne Climate on Weissfluhjoch Climate in Chur Climate in Altdorf Climate on Mount Pilatus Climate in Bern Climate on Mount Napf Climate in Glarus Climate in Luzern Climate in Neuchâtel Climate in La Chaux-de-Fonds Climate on Mount Säntis Climate in Wynau Climate in St. Gallen Climate in Zürich Climate in Rünenberg Climate in Fahy Climate in Basel Climate in Güttingen Climate in Schaffhausen


The figure above shows a map of Switzerland and indicates all locations for which climate information is available. Click on any name with orange background or any red bullet to get detailed information about that location. Find a detailed legend below:

Red bullet, location name in orange rectangle Location for which climate information is available, click on the name or bullet for details
Yellow bullet, name without frame Location presented for better orientation, no climate information available
Bar diagramm showing normalized elevation, precipitation and temperature Normalized climate diagram. Shows elevation, total yearly precipitation and yearly average temperature in normalized diagrams, which allow easy and quick comparison of climatic key values between different locations.
Brown bar Normalized elevation
Blue bar Normalized total yearly precipitation
Red bar Normalized average yearly temperature
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Precipitation and Elevation:

The diagram below shows the amount of yearly precipitation in relation to the elevation of the various locations. There is no correlation between elevation and precipitation at all.

Elevation versus precipitation as a combined bar/line chart
Click on the diagram for an enlargement
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Temperature and Elevation:

The diagram below shows the average yearly temperature in relation to the elevation of the various locations. There is a strong correlation between elevation and temperature. Very generally speaking, the temperature drops about one degree Celsius with every 200 meter (650 feet) elevation gain.
The three towns at the right end of the diagram are all located south of the Alps, which also has an influence on the average temperature.

Elevation versus temperature as a line chart
Click on the diagram for an enlargement
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Weather Forecast for Switzerland:

Related websites:

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