The climate in Switzerland

Average daytime and nighttime temperatures

All climate diagrams on this page come from the collected data of 21 weather stations.
Weather stations at an altitude above 1500m have not been included.
All data correspond to the average monthly values of the last 20 years.

Back to overview: Switzerland

Switzerland is a landlocked country in Central Europe with a varied climate influenced by the surrounding high Alps and the resulting diverse topography. The country is known for its mountainous regions, which account for more than 60% of the country's surface area.

The continental climate provides cold winters and warm summers. However, due to the mountainous topography, there can be significant variations in temperature and precipitation depending on altitude and location.

In the lower-lying areas, which include cities such as Zurich and Geneva, the climate is relatively mild, with average temperatures of about 10 °C in winter and 20 °C in summer. The region experiences frequent rainfall throughout the year and occasional snowfall during the winter months.

In the mountainous regions, the climate is much colder and snowier. The Swiss Alps have an alpine climate with long, snowy winters and short, cool summers. The higher elevations can experience freezing temperatures year-round, making these areas ideal for winter sports in particular.

Switzerland is also known for its microclimates, which can cause significant variations in temperature and precipitation over short distances. For example, Ticino in the south of the country has a Mediterranean climate with warm temperatures and frequent sunshine, while Engadin in the east has a cold, dry climate with little precipitation.
Duration of daylight and sunshine in Switzerland
Compare climate with other regions or countries
Hours of sunshine per daySunshine hours per day in Switzerland
Rain days per monthRain days per month in Switzerland
Precipitation in mm/dayPrecipitation in Switzerland
Water temperatureWater temperatures in Switzerland
Relative humidity in %Relative humidity in Switzerland
Absolute humidity in g/m³Absolute humidity in Switzerland

Greater regions in Switzerland

All figures per year. For detailed climate data click on the name of the region.

Greater regionTemperature
max Ø day
min Ø night
Espace midland15.8 °C6.3 °C1,935 h112 807 l79.0 %
Lake Geneva region16.1 °C6.1 °C2,044 h98 767 l73.0 %
Northwestern15.6 °C6.6 °C1,862 h120 876 l79.0 %
Eastern14.1 °C4.8 °C1,862 h121 1,500 l77.0 %
Ticino17.7 °C9.7 °C2,154 h95 1,405 l70.0 %
Central15.6 °C6.6 °C1,825 h120 869 l79.0 %
Zurich12.4 °C5.1 °C1,789 h133 1,142 l78.0 %

Temperature records of the last 74 years

The hottest temperature measured from 1949 to January 2023 was reported by the Geneva weather station. In July 2015, the record temperature of 39.7 °C was reported here. The hottest summer from July to September, based on all 8 weather stations in Switzerland below 1,500 meters altitude, was recorded in 1949 with an average temperature of 20.5 °C. This average temperature will normally be measured every four to six hours, thus also including the nights. Normally, this value is 18.4 degrees Celsius.

The coldest day in these 74 years was reported by the Basel Binningen weather station. Here the temperature dropped to -19.3 °C in February 2012. Basel Binningen lies at an altitude of 317 meters above sea level. The coldest winter (January to March) was in 1963 with an average temperature of 0.1 °C. In Switzerland, it is usual to have about 3.5 degrees more at 3.6 °C for this three-month period.

The most precipitation fell in November 2014. With 19.6 mm per day, the Lugano weather station recorded the highest monthly average of the last 74 years. Incidentally, the region with the most rainfall for the whole year is around Lugano. The driest region is near Sion.

Long-term development of temperatures from 1950 - 2022

In contrast to single record values, long-term development cannot simply be brought about by all weather stations in the country. Both the number and the locations are constantly changing. An average value would give a distorted result. If several measuring stations in particularly cold mountain or coastal regions are added in one year, the average would decrease as a result of this alone. If a station fails during the summer or winter months, it does not provide any values and distorts the average again. The subsequent long-term development was therefore reduced to only 1 measuring points in order to have comparable data over as long a period as possible.

In the years 1950 to 2022, there were only these 1 weather stations in the whole country, which reported continuous temperature values (Zurich). From these weather reports, we have created a long-term development that shows the monthly average temperatures. The hottest month in this entire period was August 2003 at 22.7 °C. February 1956 was the coldest month with an average temperature of -8.7 °C.

The average annual temperature was about 9.1 °C in the years after 1950 and about 10.7 °C in the last years before 2022. So in less than 73 years, it has increased by about 1.7 °C. This trend only applies to the selected 1 weather stations in Switzerland. A considerably more comprehensive evaluation of global warming has been provided separately.

Long-term development of temperatures in Switzerland

Data basis and methodology

The data from the individual measuring stations are based on the archives of the German Weather Service, individual values averaged and supplemented by own elements. In order to determine a representative national average, average values were first calculated for each part of the country, which were then summarized at the national level. Thus, if a disproportionate number of weather stations are located in a small area, their number does not affect the national average. There are 8 stations in Switzerland itself. In 13 cases, neighboring but nearby weather stations were also used to obtain more accurate values.
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