People often associate the actual start of winter with the first measurable snow (1 cm or more), when the landscape is covered in its first wintry white blanket. However, the first snowfall can occur much earlier without the snow settling and forming a snowpack.
First snow cover at the end of November
The first measurable snow naturally falls later in the lowlands than at higher elevations. The central lowlands generally get their first blanket of snow in the last third of November, while in the lowlands of western and northwestern Switzerland this occurs around the first few days of December. According to measurements dating back to 1931, which are available in digital format (middle column of the table), the first snow in the lowlands of southern Switzerland is not generally seen until Christmas.The date of the first measurable snow depends to a large extent on the current weather situation and is therefore also somewhat random. In the lowlands of the northern Alps, the earliest dates recorded for first snow cover were in the last third of October (left hand column).