Switzerland braces for explosive and violent thunderstorms

Switzerland braces for explosive and violent thunderstorms

Officials in western Switzerland have forecast “explosive thunderstorms” for the Romande region from 12pm on June 22. Meteorologists say that the conditions in the area are right for a “perfect, violent” storm, with authorities in Vaud recommending people stay inside.

Violent thunderstorms forecast for western Switzerland

From the start of June 22, people across Switzerland will be subject to a level three or four storm warning, according to MeteoSwiss. The official forecaster for the Swiss government warned that an “explosive stormy situation” threatened nationwide, but the most severe conditions will be found around Geneva, Lausanne and the rest of Canton Vaud.

For Vaud specifically, the Federal Office for the Protection of the Population (AlertSwiss) confirmed that there will be "violent thunderstorms, gusts of wind (more than 100 kilometres per hour), hail, lightning and lightning strikes for the entire canton…Hail, stormy gusts, significant accumulations of precipitation: anything is possible.” The worst of the storm will start at noon on Thursday, June 22, with the peak in Vaud expected around 5pm.

Swiss police in Vaud release storm guidelines for residents

In response to the warnings, the Swiss police released the following instructions for people in Vaud:

  • Limit your movements during the storm
  • Do not go to the mountains, forests or the banks of rivers
  • Do not attempt any water sports
  • Close windows, doors and skylights
  • Do not shelter under trees

Local schools have also cancelled all field trips, with the Vaudois Daily telling Watson that “all of the establishments in the canton are concerned," so the emergency services have applied a “zero risk policy”.

Switzerland to receive the perfect storm on June 22

Speaking to Watson, MeteoSwiss noted that conditions on Thursday are right for a "perfect storm", noting “it's very rare that all the stormy ingredients all show up at once with high values. Yet this is what will happen on Thursday.” “The stormy situation that is looming on June 22 is one of those dreamed of by most meteorologists because they are far from frequent," they added.

For the rest of the country, while Zurich, St. Gallen, Basel and other northern, central and eastern areas will see large thunderstorms on the afternoon of June 22, they will not be as severe as those in the Romande. The weather is then set to return to normal by Friday afternoon.

For regular updates and guidance on the situation, please consult the official website.

Jan de Boer


Jan de Boer

Jan studied in York and Sheffield in the UK, obtaining a master's in broadcast journalism and a bachelor's in history. He has worked as a radio DJ, TV presenter, and...

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