Looks as if Europe’s thing of the past, wintertime snow, has once again become a thing of summertime in Switzerland…at least down to 6000 feet in elevation. Cool weather swept across parts of Central Europe this week bringing snow in the Swiss Alps.
Although summertime snowfall high up in the Alps is not an unusual occurrence, snowfall down to 6000 feet elevation IN JULY is something that wasn’t supposed to happen nowadays – especially with increased concentrations of “heat-trapping” greenhouse gas CO2.
20 inches of snow
Last Tuesday, July 8, the Swiss online Blick here reported meteorologists were predicting snowfall down to 1800 meters elevation (6000 ft.), warning that up to 50 cm (20 inches) of snow in the Canton of Valais. Blick writes that the snowfall presented a problem for grazing cattle, which would either have to be brought down to lower elevations or housed in mountain shelters stocked with feed.
Passes closed, avalanche warnings
By evening the passes over Susten and the Furka were closed, the TCS Traffic Information reported. The Matterhorn Gotthard railway (MGB) allowed additional car wagons to travel through the Furka Tunnel due to snowfall Tuesday evening at the Furka.
Snowfall fell to elevations of approximately 2000 meters, according to the Swiss Met. At elevations of 2000 meters there was a blanket of snow by evening. There was more snow in the high mountain elevations over 2500 meters.”
By Wednesday, July 9th, the online Blick here reported Swiss authorities had issued elevated avalanche warnings for elevations near 3000 meters. At Germany’s Zugspitze, the country’s highest peak, 15 cm of fresh snow fell. German meteorologists point out that snow at such elevations at this time of year are not unusual. Well, if the “usual” is happening, then the climate can’t be changing that much.
Today, public SRF Swiss Radio reports here that mountain excursions and tours are being cancelled due to the cold and snowy weather, thus delaying the start of the season.
In Switzerland there are an estimated 1500 mountains guides. Many of them have jobs on the side, and so when tours are cancelled they have other work. But the guides are also hit by the bad weather. A part of the 150 mountain shelters of the Swiss Alps Club SAC are even snowed in.”