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General recommendations snow

What to do when snow is forecast

Generally it is easy to predict heavy snowfalls. When heavy snowfalls are forecast for higher areas, the cooling effect of the precipitation can lead to snow falling at much lower levels. For this reason, you should always be prepared for snow during the winter months, particularly while driving. In areas where heavy snowfalls are likely house roofs need to be sufficiently strong to cope with the weight of snow and equipped to prevent snow slides from roofs.

Information on the potential impact and hazard categories of snowfall can be found here.

What to do in preparation for snowfall:

Keep an eye on local weather developments.

Pay attention to the push notifications on the MeteoSwiss-App.

Equip your car for winter (winter tyres, ice scraper, snow brush, etc.).

Get information on the driving conditions before and during any car journey.

When heavy snowfalls are forecast in the mountains, pay attention to official instructions and leave areas in good time (and also exposed buildings) where there is a risk of avalanche.

Pay close attention to radio announcements, the 163 telephone service and the instructions issued by the winter road maintenance services.

What to do during snowfall

Heavy snow can severely disrupt transport, especially road traffic. You should always take particular care when driving, and only travel if you have the appropriate winter equipment. Those travelling on foot should also be careful when outdoors during a snow shower, as branches can break off and trees can topple un-der the weight of the snow. Snow should also be cleared from house roofs to avoid snow slides and roof damage.

What to do in the event of icy road conditions.

Recommended actions during snowfalls:

Keep an eye on local weather developments.

Pay attention to the push notifications on the MeteoSwiss-App.

Vor und während der Autofahrt Informationen über die Verkehrslage einholen (Radio, Telefon 163) und die Anweisungen der Winterdienste beachten

Avoid travelling by car if at all possible, and use public transport instead.

Stay away from forests and trees wherever possible (danger of falling trees or branches under the weight of the snow).

Clear snow from roofs (house, porch, conservatory etc.), and always take the appropriate safety pre-cautions when doing so.

Be careful of snow sliding from roofs.

Pay attention to daily avalanche bulletins and additional information from the WSL Institute for Snow and Avalance Research.

Always follow the official recommendations.

What to do after a snowfall

Once the snow has stopped falling, there can be large amounts of snow lying on roads, roofs and trees. The avalanche situation usually remains critical, and as long as it does, certain safety rules should be followed.

You should also be prepared for further dangers, particularly when a rise in temperatures causes rapid melting of large snow deposits and leads to swollen rivers and streams.

If you live in an area where heavy snowfalls are likely, you should have your roof checked for damage after the snow has melted, and if necessary upgrade it in readiness for the following winter.

In addition, the following points should be observed:

Keep an eye on local weather developments.

Avoid travelling by car if at all possible, and use public transport instead.

Stay away from forests and trees wherever possible (danger of falling trees or branches under the weight of the snow).

Clear snow from roofs (house, porch, conservatory etc.), and always take the appropriate safety pre-cautions when doing so.

Be careful of snow sliding from roofs.

Pay attention to daily avalanche bulletins and additional information from the WSL Institute for Snow and Avalance Research.

Always follow the official recommendations.

Further information

Documents

Danger levels snow

Snow is the most common form of solid precipitation and consists of many very small ice crystals.


General recommendations avalanches

What to do in case of an avalanche? Advice and guidance by the Federal Authorities for protecting yourself and your home before, during and after...