Blood rain to blanket Switzerland following wave of Saharan dust

Blood rain to blanket Switzerland following wave of Saharan dust

As the weather in Switzerland finally (but briefly) starts to resemble summer, a strong air current will soon bring with it a large batch of Saharan dust. With rainfall also set to arrive in the coming days, Swiss cities and cantons are expected to be blanketed by so-called “blood rain.”

Saharan dust to arrive in Switzerland on June 20

In what will be good news for car washes and bad news for drivers in Switzerland, alongside the hot weather forecasters have predicted that Saharan dust will be making its way across the country from June 20. Currently, the weather is expected to be bright and sunny on June 19, with temperatures peaking between 28 and 30 degrees celsius.

From tomorrow a strong southwesterly wind will bring large amounts of Saharan dust to Switzerland. Thanks to strong winds, fine dust from the North African desert can sometimes be carried high into the atmosphere before falling several thousand kilometres away. The dust itself is typically made up of aluminosilicates, quartz and iron oxides and can be irritative for those with asthma or allergies.

As a result of the dust, the once-blue skies will likely be given a milky pale hue during the day, and while it is difficult to predict the sky may even appear orange in colour, especially around dawn and dusk.

Blood rain forecast to fall over Switzerland

From late on Thursday onwards, heavy rainfall and thunderstorms are forecasted across Switzerland. This is expected to mix with the Saharan dust already in the air, leading to a phenomenon colloquially known as “blood rain.”

Thanks to the combination of dust and water, the rain that falls is reddish in colour, and in some cases can form sandy pools in the street and stain clothing. Despite the evil-sounding name, only motorists need to be concerned about the rain: be sure to clean your vehicles carefully after blood rain, as the dust left on the vehicle could scratch the paint.

Looking ahead, heavy rainfall and storms will characterise the weather in Switzerland for the coming few days, with thunderstorms set to peak on Friday and Saturday. Temperatures will fall from the end of Thursday, stabilising at between 17 and 21 degrees for the rest of the week.

Jan de Boer


Jan de Boer

Editor for Switzerland at IamExpat Media. Jan studied History at the University of York and Broadcast Journalism at the University of Sheffield. Though born in York, Jan has lived most...

Read more



Leave a comment