On 15 July 2021, Switzerland’s flood warnings reached the maximum level of 5 in some parts of central Switzerland.
Continuous and intense rain on the northern slopes of the Alps and adjacent areas as well as northwestern Switzerland has led to a critical flood situation, warned the Federal government on its natural hazards portal.
Intense rainfall of between 40mm and 80mm on the northern slopes of the Alps and in the adjacent areas as well as in north-western Switzerland is expected on Thursday and Friday, said the service. This rain on top of earlier rainfall means there is a very high risk of flooding on Lake Biel, Lake Thun and Lake Luzern (danger level 5).
On Lake Zurich and on the Aare below Lake Thun, on the Upper Rhine and the Reuss, the flood risk is level 4 (high hazard level). Landslides can occur when there is high rainfall and strong thunderstorms because the soils are already very saturated, said the warning service.
On 15 July 2021, Switzerland’s president travelled to Luzern where the lake passed the level triggering the maximum level of alert this morning, reported RTS.
A report on RTS on 14 July 2021, shows flooding in the canton Jura, including the town of Biel where the lake rose 60cm in a week. The situation is tense in Thun and the Lake Luzern region, where lake levels are high and the risk level is at the maximum of 5. In Bern, the Aare river has reached its limits in some places and the basements of some homes have been flooded, according to RTS.
The current flood warnings follow storms in Zurich that have left millions of francs of damage.
The extreme weather conditions caused by a moist low pressure system centred on Bavaria in Germany have brought unseasonally cold temperatures, high winds and heavy rain to Switzerland and other parts of Europe. In parts of Switzerland 50mm of rain fell on Thursday night. The low pressure system also brought snow to altitudes above 2,700m.
The area of low pressure is set to gradually shift south towards the Adriatic Sea from Friday, according to Swiss meteorologists.