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April weather with snow is no surprise – News

The current April weather is no joke for flowers and young fruits: too frosty, even in the air. “April, April,” one would like to moan, but the popular saying only does limited justice to the current weather capers, says SRF weatherwoman Daniela Schmuki.

Daniela Schmuki

Daniela Schmuki

SRF meteorologist


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Daniela Schmuki is an ETH environmental scientist specializing in atmosphere and physics. After an internship at Meteo Schweiz and Meteotest, she has been working as a meteorologist at SRF Meteo since the summer of 2007. She is also an aviation weather instructor at Lufthansa Aviation Training.

SRF News: A few days ago we were sweating in the sun in our swimming trunks, now we’re freezing. How normal is this?

Daniela Schmuki: Large temperature fluctuations are typical for the month of April – both from day to day and in relation to the daily temperature amplitude. The air is generally still rather cool, but the April sun can heat up quite a bit. The long-term average is around 15 degrees on an April afternoon in the Central Plateau. The summer days with over 25 degrees were more than 10 degrees above normal. It is currently cool for the time of year: However, the downward deviation is “only” about 7 degrees lower than we observed upward. In other words, the summer warmth in April is more extraordinary than the cold we are experiencing right now.

“April weather,” is what they say about the current capers. But what atmospheric conditions are currently causing us to experience unusually cold and snowy weather in late April?

This week we are in a northerly flow, so that cold and moist polar air is reaching the Alpine region. The air mass is cold enough for snow to reach low altitudes. In addition, the snowfall limit can drop even lower during heavy showers.

Snow on April 18th in Schwellbrunn (972 m)

Is there a connection between the current weather phenomenon and global climate patterns or long-term trends?

When it comes to the frequency of weather conditions, trends in relation to climate change can hardly be identified. Advances of cold air and snow flurries in April are not unusual and do happen from time to time. It even snowed again in Bern on May 4, 2019.

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You can find everything about the current weather here SRF Meteo.

How long is this unusual weather expected to last and is there any sign of a change in the weather soon?

The changeable and cool April weather will keep us busy for a while. From Sunday, however, a drop of cold polar air will set off on its own and “egg” over Switzerland towards Spain. This means that at the beginning of the new week the high-altitude wind will temporarily turn south, meaning that the southern side of the Alps will also be increasingly affected by showers. In return, the north will be temporarily relieved.

What impact does this unusual weather have on agriculture and our gardens?

A tricky combination because the vegetation is already well developed. The problem is not the current cold, but the temperatures that were far too high in advance: the plants sometimes have a lead of several weeks compared to the average. Blossoms and some young fruits are now even more sensitive, as they can only tolerate very light air frost at a measuring height of 2 meters. And unfortunately the danger of frost is far from averted: On Friday night there will be widespread ground frost and locally even air frost at low altitudes. Saturday night will be a little less cold with a westerly wind. But there is a risk of ground frost and in some cases even air frost as early as Sunday and into the new week.

The interview was conducted by Michael Fröhlich.

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