Zug, 18.04.2024

Snow flurries in the morning

April is living up to the saying “April does what it wants”. While we had temperatures of 27°C at the weekend, people in Zug were greeted by snow flurries this morning. Are the ice saints too early this year? Or is it simply April keeping us on our toes?

It has already been colder over the last few days, and now it’s actually snowing in many lowland areas. And the snow line isn’t expected to rise substantially in the next few days.

According to Swiss folklore, a cold spell can be expected around the dates of the so-called Ice Saints (Eisheiligen). The Ice Saints are St. Mamertus (or in some countries, St. Boniface of Tarsus), St. Pancras, and St. Servatius. Their feast days fall on the May 11, May 12, and May 13 respectively, and the period from May 12 to May 15 is often believed to bring a brief spell of colder weather in many years, including the last nightly frosts of the spring. But they seem to have arrived a little earlier his year!

One minute it was spring, the next it's suddenly winter again. There was a white awakening in many places in Switzerland on Thursday moning. The snow has returned to the lowlands. "Snow line between 500 and 800 metres, in places even lower in the morning," reports Meteo Switzerland. There was snow in Bern, Zurich, Lucerne and Aargau, among other places.

Switzerland woke up under a blanket of white in many places: the snow is back    Photo: grisslee
The snow is also back in the lowlands, as this reader photo impressively shows.

For the rest of the day, the weather service reports "mostly cloudy and a few showers, some of them heavy". Nevertheless, temperatures should rise again soon, with Meteo Switzerland expecting "around 7 °C in the afternoon" in the lowlands

Snowfall is rare from mid-April
According to the Federal Office, snow flurries in spring are not particularly unusual. "On a long-term average, there are 2-3 days with fresh snow in March and 1-2 days with fresh snow in April in the Central Plateau on the northern side of the Alps." However: "Snowfall from mid-April onwards is rare," says MeteoSwiss.

Those who have already had their fill of snow will need a little more patience, as a quick return to typical spring conditions is not in sight. The weather service is also expecting maximum temperatures in the single digits over the next few days and the snow line will remain low at the weekend. The start of the week will also remain cold.