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Climate and Weather of Switzerland

The weather in Switzerland varies greatly because it has four different climates types. The highest areas have an Alpine climate, the medium-high areas a cold continental climate and the lower parts (in the north-west) have a temperate continental climate. The tip of Switzerland which borders with Italy even has a Mediterranean climate with mild winters and warm summers.

Precipitation is around 1000 mm per year. Every year there is more precipitation in the western part of Switzerland since it is closer to the Atlantic coast. The average amount of sunshine per year is approximately 1700 hours. As a general rule the temperature drops about one degree Celsius with every 200 meter (656 ft) elevation gain.

In winter, it is quite cold and gray in large parts of Switzerland. In the mountain areas above 2000-2500 meters (6561 - 8202 ft), it is regularly extremely cold. In the Alps and Jura, it freezes almost the entire day and there is a fair amount of snowfall. During strong depressions in winter months, large amounts of snow can fall in a single day. The major winter sports areas in Switzerland are almost one hundred percent covered in snow from December through April.

The overall best travel time for a hiking vacation in Switzerland is from May to September. The highest temperatures occur in July and August with maximum temperatures around 25°C. Because the chance of thunderstorms is higher in July and August, the period May to the end of June is best suited for hiking or for other outdoor activities.

Are you interested in more detailed information for various cities in Switzerland?
Please select the city you plan to visit, or one closest to your destination. For each selected city, you will see the following graphs:
1. Yearly average minimum and maximum temperatures
2. Monthly averages of precipitation throughout the year (rainfall, snow etc)
3. Monthly average hours of sunshine throughout the year

Additionally, some pages provide historical weather data such as humidity, wind speed, and water temperature.

Popular places in Switzerland

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