Adapting to the climate in Switzerland

Hello everyone,

Adjusting to new climatic conditions is key in any expatriation process. Moving to Switzerland is no exception.

What are the climate characteristics of Switzerland?

How does the local weather impact your daily life, mood or health?

What are the pros and cons of the climate in Switzerland?

Share you advice and help people adapt quickly to their new weather environment.

Thanks in advance,


Unless you're living high up in the mountains, the climate is no big issue in Switzerland. It is quite moderate. Inconveniences by snow in winter are minimal, as the Swiss are perfectly prepared to it. Delays in traffic and public transport do occur, but are marginal when compared to other countries.
You are expected to prepare yourself, too, for example, by having winter tires at your car in winter (and having show chains in your car whenever you are going up into the mountains). Winter tires are not mandatory, but many insurance companies will make problems when you are involved in an accident and did not have winter tires.
Autumn can come with so-called "inversion" in which cold air in the valleys cannot escape. It results in fog that can last for weeks and makes some people a bit moody.

Living in New Hampshire I figured the climate would be about the same. It is in the summer. A few weeks of hot but normally temperate. Nice cool breezes in the evening. But the winters aren't the same here in Lausanne. Rarely is there snow. Temperatures get down but not so far that I've ever needed to turn on the heat. Leave the thanks to that for the way buildings are constructed here!

Coming from the USA South West, and living for years in Appenzell Ausserrhoden (i.e. in the foothills of the Alps) I found the summers there not really warm (bless the person who each year tried to grow tomatoes against a warm wall near our house -- but mostly failed) and the winters were often just another day I had to shovel half a meter of snow off the car.

That was a decade ago. I do wonder what it is like there now at our old home.

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