Third major heatwave of the summer hits Switzerland

Third major heatwave of the summer hits Switzerland

Switzerland is in the midst of another major heatwave, with the weather expected to be hot and sunny across the country until the weekend. The excessive temperatures and lack of rain are now having significant knock-on effects on water supplies and construction projects in the alpine nation.

Heat warning levels increase in Switzerland

After a scorching Wednesday which saw temperatures rise to 36,6 degrees Celsius in Geneva, authorities predict that Thursday and Friday are going to be even hotter. The mercury is expected to be highest in Basel (38 degrees) and Geneva (37 degrees), with the rest of the country set to see temperatures rise to an average of 35 degrees.

The new heatwave has also caused the government to raise its heat warning level to “significant danger” in parts of Canton Vaud, Valais, Aargau, Ticino, Solothurn, Jura, Basel-Stadt, Basel-Land and Neuchâtel. During the high temperatures, residents are encouraged to:

  • Avoid physical activity and direct exposure to the sun
  • Keep their homes as cool as possible
  • Drink plenty of water
  • Avoid alcohol
  • Eat fresh, cool and light meals

For a more comprehensive list of what measures are recommended, please consult the official government website.

Higher water prices and slower construction due to heatwave

The high temperatures are also having a significant knock-on effect on workers, particularly those who work outside. According to 20 minuten, essential maintenance on an arterial road in Geneva has been put on hold due to the excessive heat, with many other construction sites grinding to a halt as the country bakes.

Elsewhere, after the first and second heatwaves gripped the country, local authorities sounded the alarm over water shortages across Switzerland, with many rivers being significantly warmer than usual. Watson reported that the 24,9-degree water temperatures were too much for some grayling and trout in the River Rhine, with the first dead fish discovered in Schaffhausen earlier this week.

Speaking to SRF, the Swiss Association of Municipalities (SGV) has warned that the cost of water in Switzerland is expected to rise and that families and individuals must prepare for seasonal price hikes and water-saving measures. Christoph Hugi, director of the SGV, argued that "in the summer when there is a shortage, the price increases could be graduated according to how the water is used."

Third major Swiss heatwave to continue until weekend

The excessively hot temperatures are expected to continue until Friday evening when rain and severe thunderstorms are forecast across the country. From there, the bise - the cold seasonal wind - will flow in, reducing temperatures to 27 degrees on the weekend.

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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