Switzerland hit with over 22.000 lightning strikes with more storms to follow

Switzerland hit with over 22.000 lightning strikes with more storms to follow

Heavy thunderstorms and rain continue to dominate the weather in Switzerland, with over 22.000 lightning strikes recorded on Monday alone. The storm caused travel disruption for public transport and on the roads, with more storms expected to arrive within the next few days.

Over 22.000 lightning strikes recorded across Switzerland

At midday on May 23, the residents of Zurich, Lucerne, St. Gallen, Bern and Basel saw their skies turn from azure blue to inky black, as the first of many thunderstorms rolled in. The first bolts of lightning quickly rained down, with 2.952 strikes in Lucerne alone. By the next day, over 22.000 lightning strikes had been recorded across the alpine nation.

The lighting was accompanied by more than 30 litres of rain per square metre, and gusts of up to 80 kilometres per hour. In some areas, hail the size of marbles fell on cities and in the Swiss mountains, with piles of ice forming in the streets.

Storms to continue until Wednesday

In the centre of Lucerne, bus services were suspended as many streets became flooded due to the heavy rainfall. The storm also caused major delays to railways in Canton Zurich, St. Gallen, Bern and Thurgau. Regular services have now been resumed.

Luckily, the rain and thunderstorms are only set to continue for the next day and a half, with the strongest storms forecast in Ticino and eastern Switzerland. From Wednesday, the weather is set to calm across the country, with patchy clouds and temperatures of 19 to 24 degrees Celsius. The good weather will continue for most of the Ascension weekend, until the rain returns on Sunday.

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...

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