Bern Weather

Bern Weather Overview:
Bern is on the boundary of the oceanic climate zone and the continental zone. The wind direction is almost always westerly bringing higher than average precipitation for the city, increased still further by its proximity to the Bernese Alps.
All Time Highs and Lows:
The city has a generally mild climate and so the extremes it has suffered aren’t as much as in other parts of Switzerland. In 2003 it recorded its highest temperature of 38C whilst nearly seventy years earlier, the lowest temperature ever recorded there of -14C was endured.

Weather Science:
Bern is located on the Swiss plateau, not far from the Bernese Alps and enjoys a continental climate, tempered according to atmospheric conditions to an oceanic climate. The flat region, whilst still at some altitude can suffer huge banks of freezing fog, cooled by a north-easterly wind called the bise. These conditions can last for weeks giving the city a miserable feel and demeanour.

The Seasons:

Spring: It’s in March that the weather really begins to pick up. With sunshine hours two and a half times that of January, there’s a brighter feel to the season. By the time we get to May, six hours of sunshine a day is seen on average. As with Basel, as the season progresses, the amount of rainfall and the number of rainy days increases too. Whilst March will see an average high of 8C and nights still regularly below freezing, May has a very pleasant feel with temperatures in the mid-sixties.

Summer: The summer months see twice as much rain as January but the rain comes in short thundery bursts and doesn’t generally spoil outdoor activities. Temperatures rise into the mid and upper seventies but with a dry atmosphere it never feels too hot. Sunshine hours are now averaging eight hours a day so plenty of nice weather for enjoying the sights of the Swiss capital.

Autumn: Whilst September starts off brightly and with warm sunny days, the temperature and sunshine levels soon drop away with November having a third of the sunshine levels of September. Rainfall stays at a constant level through the season but becomes lighter and more prolonged into autumn.

Winter: Winter has some unusual weather with stationary air over the plateau leading to dense fog banks that linger. The fog acts as a blanket, keeping temperatures close to the ground low, fanned by a gentle but icy north east wind called the bise. December and January are the coldest months when temperatures rarely rise above freezing and snow falls instead of rain.

Best Time to Visit:
September is by far the best month to visit with warm days, cool nights and little rain and whilst the sunshine hours have started to drop, there are enough days of sunshine to ensure you enjoy a stay in the Swiss capital.