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 online Südostschweiz.ch reported that the Furkapass had been closed.
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.”
11 responses to “In Switzerland Thing of The Past Becomes A Thing Of July…More Weather That Isn’t Supposed To Happen!”
I saw some stages of Tour de France 2014, the riders are racing in rains and slippery roads. Some big names were forced to quit due to frequent crashes on slippery roads. July is supposed to be warm and dry in Europe, not wet and cold.
The Kaisergebirge massive in Austria near the German border also saw snow last weekend. How much I don’t know, will ask my brother tomorrow who was there.
Ok, it was the Hoher König, the highest mountain of the massive that they wanted to climb and that one was snowed in. 3000m mountain.
And in the US it is the same story:
A Russian friend of mine today told me that Moscow is chilly too.
Sicily is in a cold snap too. My daughter is holidaying there together with husband and three small children She had to buy warm zip-ups while there.
This is climate, not weather and it could be that global cooling is really setting in.
I bet some people (Dr Viner, for example) wish this article was just a thing of the past…
Brrrrrr, Central Europe seems to be having an awful Summer! Temperatures at 5,000 ft are actually warmer in Scandinavia and especially Norway right now than they are in say Croatia/ Slovenia, but it looks like it’s going to get a bit Warmer across Southern Europe soon!
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I was in the Alps the previous week, in the Valais & in the Diablerets featured in the reports. It was lovely, hot & sunny. Well apart from a wettish Wednesday and a cloudy Friday, but very warm all the time. A Fohn wind from Africa was making everyone just a little less good natured than usual, despite the good weather.
A bit of fresh snow this week is nothing unusual in the mountains.. What sort of Guides complain about a little unseasonal snow ? They should have started their season earlier if they were that bothered ?
“A bit of fresh snow this week is nothing unusual in the mountains.”
That’s precisely the problem…snow at 1800 meters isn’t supposed to be “nothing unusual”. Climatologists had even forecast hard times for the ski industry in the wintertime…”snow would be rare and a thing of the past” – in the wintertime! Now you can go skiing in the summertime on certain days.
“What sort of Guides complain about a little unseasonal snow ? They should have started their season earlier if they were that bothered ?”
Hello, Eliza Doodle. Here on non-cartoon-Earth, mountain guides can only start the season when the weather permits, not earlier. And that’s exactly what they do – because their customers start to arrive as soon as the weather permits, but not earlier.
Thanks for the visit from Cartoon Earth! Greetings to Wile E Coyote!
[…] summertime snowfall high up in the Alps is not an unusual occurrence, heavy snowfall down to 6000 feet elevation IN JULY is something that is not supposed to happen in a warming world. […]