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Swiss September weather: forecasts & what to pack


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MIgal
MIgal
14 posts
new member
Aug 28, 2022 - 5:26 PM

Hello, Finalizing plans now for my upcoming 10 night trip. We're flying in/out of Zurich and we're traveling to St. Moritz, Zermatt and Wengen. We're reasonably fit and we'd like to fit in as many hikes/peaks as possible...this is a "get some fresh air and see the views" trip, not a "let's visit cathedrals and museums" trip. My concern is that the current weather forecast for all locations looks terrible...rain/storms daily! Is this typical? We specifically chose September because we read that it is one of the drier months in Switzerland. A day or two of rain is fine...but 10 days will be terrible. Obviously, I know that no one knows what will happen or has any control over it. I guess I'm looking for some reassurance that it rarely rains all day, every day and that we'll be fine to make outdoor plans for most of the trip. Also, wondering if anyone is currently in Switzerland and can check in with their experience. Thanks! :-)

kim11
kim11
574 posts
top member
Aug 28, 2022 - 8:40 PM in reply to MIgal

You are likely looking at an international weather forecast, not one for Switzerland. A few years back we were sitting on our veranda in Wengen with cocktails, enjoying the 70F weather. Weather.com said it was snowing.

It very rarely rains all day. Most non-Swiss forecasts will say rain all day when there might only be a late afternoon brief thunderstorm. Which is typical. We call them "Happy Hour Storms".

Use meteoswiss.ch and meteoblue.com. Go to hourly forecasts over the next couple days and you will see the kind of detail to expect.

Forecasts are reliable maybe 1 - 2 days out. Mountains make their own weather!

MIgal
MIgal
14 posts
new member
Aug 28, 2022 - 9:10 PM in reply to kim11

Thank you! I feel so much better! Back to planning. 🥳

Anna
Anna
4068 posts
expert &
moderator
Aug 29, 2022 - 3:58 AM in reply to MIgal

Hi MIgal,

You can find links to local weather information here: www.myswissalps.com/weather/forecast

I agree with Kim: it rarely rains the whole day or in the entire region. For instance a 50% forecast usually means only a certain part of the region will get rain. So it's still possible to plan activities throughout the day.

Regards,

Anna

KNBTLB
KNBTLB
10 posts
new member
Aug 31, 2022 - 1:21 PM in reply to MIgal

We are currently staying in Wengen. We arrived on Monday, September 29th. It was a beautiful day. On Tuesday, it was another beautiful day until around 6:00pm. It rained pretty hard, but we had already finished our hiking for the day. We woke up this morning and it was overcast and cool. Lots of clouds, but no rain. We mainly hiked around the Wengen area because it was cloudy/overcast in the high country. We plan on hiking the Eiger Trail tomorrow. Keeping our fingers crossed. But right now as we are sitting on our terrace looking at the mountains, it is a pleasant 66 degrees with sunshine and clouds.

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MIgal
MIgal
14 posts
new member
Aug 31, 2022 - 1:54 PM in reply to KNBTLB

Thanks for your response and for the beautiful photo! I hope you got your hike in today. I’m getting excited to follow in your steps next week! Happy travels!👏🏼😎

Ildiko
Ildiko
2594 posts
expert &
moderator
Aug 31, 2022 - 4:18 PM in reply to KNBTLB

Hi KNBTLB,

I am glad you are enjoying your holiday. After you are back home, please feel free to tell us more about your experiences in the trip report part of the forum. We would love to read more about it.

Enjoy your stay,

Ildiko

KNBTLB
KNBTLB
10 posts
new member
Aug 31, 2022 - 4:28 PM in reply to Ildiko

Of course!

My Doodles
My Doodles
21 posts
new member
Sep 1, 2022 - 1:48 PM in reply to KNBTLB

Awesome, I had the same concerns. We will be staying 5 nights in Wengen beginning the 18th. I was planning on bringing my rain anorak but are there any other clothing items you wished you had brought or glad that you did. I’m in the packing mode…

Charli

KNBTLB
KNBTLB
10 posts
new member
Sep 1, 2022 - 2:15 PM in reply to My Doodles

Charli,

Just got back from hiking the Eiger Trail. It it another beautiful day! The weather was a little cool this morning, so I had gloves while hiking earlier. Other than the suggestion of gloves and perhaps a rain anorak, I’m sure you have it covered. Even though it rained later in the evening the other night, it did not disrupt our hiking. We did not have any need for rain jackets the four days we were here. This area is truly special. Enjoy your stay! We leave tomorrow.

Ildiko
Ildiko
2594 posts
expert &
moderator
Sep 1, 2022 - 3:03 PM in reply to My Doodles

Hi Charli,

If you would like to hike, we have a list of what to bring and how to prepare for hiking: www.myswissalps.com/hiking/preparation. Have a look at that one.

Happy packing!

Ildiko

more2explore
more2explore
1 post
new member
Sep 2, 2022 - 6:29 AM in reply to MIgal

We, too, struggled with the daunting forecasts! But here we are in Wengen and there is enough sun and high clouds to enjoy our hikes. Of corse there are no guarantees. We like metoecentrale for the local forecast. Locals say its only accurate about 3 days ahead. Hope it works out for you.

Danielsan
Danielsan
330 posts
top member
Sep 2, 2022 - 9:28 AM in reply to MIgal

Hi MIgal,

In 2018, 06 - 20 Sept, I was in Switzerland and had great weather. I realize it can be different from year to year, but for me it was great. I wore a Tee or Polo shirt, and a pair of shorts for the whole two weeks, with the occasional sweatshirt as needed.. I had a backpack (separate from my main luggage) that went with me pretty much everywhere. In it, I had an extra sweatshirt, a pair of gloves, a ski hat, a compact rain jacket (which I never used), and a pair of sweatpants, just in case I needed any of it when I was hiking in the mountains. In my main luggage I had another sweatshirt and a pair of jeans, which I only wore once, (but didn't even need) when I visited Mt. Titlis.

As for the weather forecasts, don't even worry about them til you get there. I never once even looked at a weather forecast, other than the 'mountain cams' at the hotels, which are prevalent pretty much wherever you stay. As many folks mentioned, check a day or two before.

A basic rule of thumb is to not buy tickets for mountain excursions until the day of, pending the aforementioned 'cams' that most of the hotels do offer. There is plenty of nice hiking in St Moritz, but be aware that it is a ghost town (especially on Sunday) in Sept. Beautiful town, but again, pretty dead after the tourist season, though a lot of hiking to do. Try to see Mt. Corvatsch if possible.

In Zermatt, be sure to see the Gornagrat. Stunning scenery!! I saw it later in the day and saw the sun setting beyond the Matterhorn. Again, stunning.

In Wengen, well, so very much to see/do/hike around there.

I'd suggest going to St, Moritz from Zurich via Chur, then to Zermatt either on the main lines, or the Glacier Express (an eight hour ride either way). Then to Wengen and back to Zurich. OR the reverse. Either way would be one basic circle without backtracking.

Hope this many help you in some way. Have a great trip.

Regards,

Danielsan

Anna
Anna
4068 posts
expert &
moderator
Sep 2, 2022 - 10:01 AM

Thanks everyone for all your inputs. The weather forecast helps but sometimes can be a hit or miss. I agree with Danielsan, always check the mountain webcams before an excursion.

I hope you'll have good weather and clear skies throughout your trip MIgal!

regards,

Anna

MIgal
MIgal
14 posts
new member
Sep 2, 2022 - 12:01 PM

So many fantastic replies! Thanks so much! I have a rough sketch of what we’d like to do in each stop (like gornergrat, jungfraujoch, schilthorn, etc), but my plan is to buy the actual passes as we travel when we have a better feel for weather and so that we can do a few spontaneous experiences, too. Of course, I have booked our hotels and seats on the Glacier Express in advance! Again, thank you for all the input. Much appreciated. :-)

kim11
kim11
574 posts
top member
Sep 2, 2022 - 12:54 PM

"We like metoecentrale for the local forecast."

Be aware that,when looking for Wengen weather forecasts Meteocentrale defaults to Männlichen which is much much cooler than actual temperatures in Wengen due to the altitude. They don't seem to have a Wengen station. We've found meteoblue and meteoswiss to be more accurate for Wengen

My Doodles
My Doodles
21 posts
new member
Sep 2, 2022 - 7:18 PM in reply to Danielsan

Thanks for your detailed reply. So you kept everything as a carry-on, no checked luggage? I’m undecided 🤷‍♂️

Charli

MIgal
MIgal
14 posts
new member
Sep 2, 2022 - 7:37 PM

I’m going for carry on only…which is new for me…but with the state of the airlines these days, it seems best right now. Quite a challenge to pack for so many temps and situations! And on that note, any laundromat suggestions in Zermatt or Wengen? 🤣🤪

kim11
kim11
574 posts
top member
Sep 2, 2022 - 7:45 PM in reply to MIgal

In Wengen:

There is a small public laundromat in Wengen behind the Intersport Alpia store (across from the Eiger Residence, near the train station) that is open 8:00 am to 10:00 pm daily. Follow the signs to the hair salon. The Laundromat (“Waschsalon”) is located directly across from the entrance to the hair salon behind a brown door (sometimes there is no sign). There are two washers that take four 1 franc coins only (wash time approximately 40 minutes) and one dryer that takes 1, 2 and 5 franc coins (2 francs per hour). If you don’t have correct change you can get some at Hotel Silberhorn which is just south of the Intersport Alpia store and next to the Coop. (The Silberhorn manages the laundry facility and is also the place to go if you run into trouble with any of the machines.) The dryer doesn’t work particularly well but if you don’t overload it you can get a load dry in an hour. There are instructions printed on the machines in English. There is no detergent available there so you will have to buy some at one of the markets in town. (In a pinch, check the area just behind the washers. That’s where a number of frequent visitors stash their left-over detergent for the next “in the know” visitor.) It’s best to go early since there’s often a line at other times. And given the limited public laundry services, be on time to retrieve your laundry from the machines. Otherwise, expect to find your things piled up on one of the tables. Alternatively, most hotels provide laundry service.

MIgal
MIgal
14 posts
new member
Sep 2, 2022 - 7:54 PM

Wow. I know I went off topic for this thread, but really appreciate the detailed quick response. Thank you!

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