Summer in the Swiss Alps - how much rain?

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Mr.Gib
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Joined: Fri Mar 18, 2005 4:12 pm
Location: eh?

by Mr.Gib

Planning on doing the Swiss Alps next summer. But looking at the weather statistics July and August receive more precipitation that any other month. How bad is it? Just afternoon thunderstorms like the Dolomites? I can live with that - you can usually beat the rain to your hotel.

I can't stop thinking about the Tour de Swiss - year after year such nasty weather. Anyone remember the hail with riders diving into the bushes to survive? Pozzatto covered in huge welts? Too many all day rains could make for a tough trip. We ride town to town and cover close to 2000 km in two weeks - there is no taking a day off to wait out the weather. Every day will be 100+ km of mountain passes with my luggage waiting for me at the next hotel.

And is this really the place to go? I've done the French Alps, Pyrenees, Dolomites. Should somewhere else be next on my list?
wheelsONfire wrote: When we ride disc brakes the whole deal of braking is just like a leaving a fart. It happens and then it's over. Nothing planned and nothing to get nervous for.

basilic
Posts: 652
Joined: Wed Jan 05, 2011 8:05 am
Location: Geneva, Switzerland

by basilic

Swiss Alps are much like the French and Italian equivalents weatherwise. It's a bit of a lottery, anytime you head up into the mountains. Summer is the best bet (tour de Suisse is early June, colder and wetter). You'll have beautiful days. Afternoon showers, sure, sometimes. Two days of continuous rain can happen. So hot that you dread descending into the valley - happens too. I have seen a snow flurry at 2000m in summer, gone the next day. That makes it fun, and so so weather creates the most beautiful ambiances up high. So:
- don't hope for 2 weeks of sunshine. It would be boring.
- bring raingear, including overshoes. Hotel showercap for the helmet. Gloves.
- if things get really bad there is always the train or postal bus, almost everywhere in Switz.
- when rain threatens, make a mental note of shelters along the road. You may need them 2 mins later.
- if you have flexibility, check the radar forecasts for the next day and change plans as needed. Valais and Ticino are often drier than the rest, and only a tunnel away.
- bring a camera.

by Weenie


jonesalice
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Joined: Fri Nov 18, 2016 1:01 pm

by jonesalice

Visit these places is my dream...

ultyguy
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Joined: Fri Aug 06, 2010 1:35 pm
Location: Geneva

by ultyguy

As with anywhere in the alps, you can get rain in July/August but after living Geneva/Chamonix for 7 years, these are far and away the best months to plan a big trip but there's always an element of luck.

P.s. Check out Alain Rumpf's site for ideas or his tour co for more, he's prob done the best relevant riding/research for Switzerland
http://aswisswithapulse.com
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fromtrektocolnago
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by fromtrektocolnago

Except the end of June....I hope
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GambadiLegno
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Location: Spain

by GambadiLegno

Last year I was there working with my company in our Swiss Challenge trip. We had good weather only for 2 or 3 days, the rest were rainy or foggy days.

Take everything you can, places as Grimselpass or Furkapass could be a nightmare if you are not lucky with the weather.

I really recommend you to go there. I was in French Pyrenees and Alps too, and in Dolomites. To be honest, Swiss Alps was the place I enjoyed most, together with Dolomites. The problem of the area is that it's not as well known as French typical Tour de France climbs and places.

fromtrektocolnago
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by fromtrektocolnago

Went to the French Alps in June, Know some people doing the Swiss Alps now and was looking up some weather data. Is the summer season in the Swiss Alps shorter and the temperatures generally cooler?
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ross
Posts: 375
Joined: Mon Mar 14, 2011 10:59 am
Location: Oxfordshire UK

by ross

Yeah it totally luck of the draw. You might have two weeks of no rain at all or you might have rain every day. One thing I have learnt is that during hot weather in the mountains, you start to see cloud building around lunchtime and the afternoons tend to bring sharp thunderstorms and showers as the heat rises and cools as it runs up the side of the mountains and gets trapped. This is in areas with peaks of over 4000m

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TonyM
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Joined: Thu Jan 22, 2015 4:11 pm

by TonyM

fromtrektocolnago wrote:Went to the French Alps in June, Know some people doing the Swiss Alps now and was looking up some weather data. Is the summer season in the Swiss Alps shorter and the temperatures generally cooler?


Based on my own experience, yes definitely!

jever98
Posts: 810
Joined: Wed Feb 18, 2009 12:02 pm

by jever98

Difficult to predict, it changes from year to year. End of June / early July I did a three-day cyclo and it rained all days. Two weeks earlier and later it was hot.

Pack for the worst, hope for the best, and enjoy!

Based in Geneva.
----
No longer in the industry

Mr.Gib
Posts: 3067
Joined: Fri Mar 18, 2005 4:12 pm
Location: eh?

by Mr.Gib

Just to put a bookend on this thing, in 15 days we had one afternoon where you simply could not ride due to low temps and rain, and one morning when we had a light misty rain for one hour to start the day. Other than that nothing fell from the sky during the day, and we had mostly sun and moderate temperatures - not too hot. 4 or 5 days we started on wet roads due to overnight rains, but the days always ended up sunny. We were incredibly lucky with the weather overall.
wheelsONfire wrote: When we ride disc brakes the whole deal of braking is just like a leaving a fart. It happens and then it's over. Nothing planned and nothing to get nervous for.

by Weenie


wingguy
Posts: 3669
Joined: Thu Mar 08, 2012 11:43 pm

by wingguy

Nice one!

Over the last three seasons in the alps/dolomites I had one spell of 2 months when it was awesome everyday except one (don't think that'll ever happen again!), then a 1 month trip where it was either totally crap or moderately rubbish with only a few breaks and then a 3 week stay that was sunny every day with a few evening thunderstorms that didn't hurt anything and provided fantastic viewing.

Basically, you roll the dice and take your chances :P

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