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Manual observation network

The information on current weather events is supplemented by visual human observations. The atmospheric conditions around the observation site are described in detail.

Visual observations provide a detailed description of the atmospheric conditions around the observation site. Meteorological observers make visual observations and take readings from measurement instruments between two and eight times per day every day of the year. This information is then transmitted to MeteoSwiss online. The reports are encrypted using internationally valid code and are made available worldwide.

Visual observations are made at around 25 locations in Switzerland. The following aspects are observed:

  • Meteorological visibility
  • Current weather: weather conditions at the time of the observation and during the past hour, e.g. moderate rain showers, snowfall, fog with formation of hoarfrost
  • Past weather: the main weather phenomena during the past 3, 6 or 12 hours, e.g. thunderstorms, drizzle, drifting snow
  • Ground conditions: e.g. powder snow covering the entire ground surface; frozen; damp
  • Clouds: total cloud, level of cloud cover, type and sub-type of clouds in the area of sky visible from the observation site
  • Survey of new and snow depths
 
Blick auf Berggipfel, die aus dem Nebelmeer ragen.
Clouds with lower limit below the Säntis observation site.