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Rainy forecast for our time in Wengen - what to do

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Jun 17th, 2018, 05:09 PM
  #1
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Rainy forecast for our time in Wengen - what to do

My wife and I are headed to Switzerland next week and are planning to be in Wengen mid-week. The advance forecast on the two full days we are scheduled to be in Wengen shows thunderstorms both days. I know things can change from a forecast 10-12 days out but it certainly isn't promising, especially since our main reason for being there was to do a lot of hiking and photography. The forecast looks a little better earlier in the week, but we are scheduled to be in Monetreaux for a couple days first, and our hotels are booked accordingly. I do believe we can still cancel our hotels but I'm not sure we could change things around though I haven't checked availability yet. My question for those who have been is what would you do? Would you try to rearrange the whole trip to be up in Wengen when weather is less rainy? Is there anything really to do and see in the BO when it is storming? We are debating canceling the whole trip, since we are using United miles to get there so everything is still refundable at this point. Thoughts and suggestions would be appreciated!
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Jun 17th, 2018, 05:15 PM
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If it rains both days, and rains ALL of those days, then your options would include Trümmelbach Falls (which are inside a mountain reached from the Lauterbrunnen Valley, a day trip (or two!) to lovely Bern, a day trip to Thun and its castles, etc. Personally, I wouldn't switch this far in advance. YMMV.
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Jun 17th, 2018, 05:16 PM
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You could go down to Interlaken and take boat trips on either lake bookending Interlaken - neat places to get off and also go to nearby Bern with miles of covered walkways in town center. They say it tunderstorms in Alps daily in summer here - if it isn't an all-day rain I'd still consider going to Jungfraujoch by train - may be thunder snow up there and if just an occasional storm won't ruin it.

And yes play it by ear - weather reports from a day or two before would be much more accurate I think.
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Jun 17th, 2018, 11:07 PM
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Hi bendivertx,

I live in a mountain town (Garmisch-Partenkirchen) that sits at a lower altitude than Wengen. My experience, and the experience of most Germans, is that weather forecast for the mountains more than a day in advance is a wild guess. This is how one German poster put it on another forum:

Again and again: You can not foresee the weather a couple weeks out. It is completely pointless to look at July now. It is completely pointless to look at next week now. One can only look at whole weather systems coming in from the Atlantic or staying steady over the continent for a couple days to predict what may be ahead for the next 2-3 days - and still in the Alps no meteorologist can foresee whether that rain cloud is going to build behind this or that mountain range in the afternoon.

* * *

Really, the forecast is only reliable about one day in advance, and I've even had 12-hour advance forecasts be terribly wrong. If I were you, I would just go, and yes, have a backup plan in case it rains. Thun is a good bet, as it has many arcaded streets, as is Bern.

Have fun as you plan!

s
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Jun 18th, 2018, 02:52 AM
  #5
 
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Forecasts for more than a week are all but serious (at leasst in alpine areas).
Therefore the official Swiss weather forecasts speaks only about "possible evolutions"

"Mögliche Entwicklung ab Montag, 25. Juni bis Sonntag, 1. Juli 2018

Im Wesentlichen hochdruckbestimmtes Wetter über Mitteleuropa. Vorwiegend sonnig. Nur geringes Schauer- und Gewitterrisiko, jeweils in der zweiten Tageshälfte. Temperatur über der jahreszeitüblichen Norm"

"Évolution possible du lundi 25 juin 2018 au dimanche 1 juillet 2018
Conditions plutôt anticyclonique sur l'Europe. Temps principalement ensoleillé avec de possible averses ou orages en seconde partie de journée. Températures supérieures aux normes de saison."
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Jun 18th, 2018, 10:57 AM
  #6
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Thanks for the feedback and the suggestions. I checked the forecasts in Geneva and Zermatt as well and they all show good weather for next Monday-Tuesday but thunderstorms for next Wednesday and Thursday. So maybe there is a large system coming through the country, or maybe as folks have suggested here it is just basically a guess and things will turn out fine.

I think we will still plan on going since it would be disappointing to cancel the trip at this point, but we'll bring rain gear just in case. Bern and Thun are good suggestions too. I haven't ready anything about them since we were just planning on going to Montreux, Wengen and Lucern before flying out of Zurich, but the only things we have booked in advance are our hotels so we do have some flexibility.
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Jun 18th, 2018, 12:02 PM
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NOBODY can predict the weather in the mountains a week or more in advance. Stop worrying. The forecasts will be changed several times until your arrival. Anything beyond a range of 24 or maybe 48 hours is of no use.

Rain gear is a must-have for any trip to the Alps any time of the year, the same goes for a warm fleece or sweater, sturdy shoes, long pants etc. etc. etc.. So, of course you should bring these things, no matter what the weather forecasts say.

By the way, meteorologists are known as "professional liars" in these parts of the world.
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Jun 18th, 2018, 12:19 PM
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Yes Alps act as a barier between sosuthern weather and northern and when clash boom. But take quokka's word on this - he lives near Switzerland and is an exert on it.
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Jun 18th, 2018, 03:15 PM
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<<My question for those who have been is what would you do>>

I'd put on my waterproof gear and go hiking, as planned.
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Jun 18th, 2018, 03:22 PM
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Take train down to Interlaken and replenish dwindling trip funds at the fancy casino!
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Jun 18th, 2018, 03:36 PM
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1. Weather forecasts all over Europe these days are meaningless. Even the météo agricole here can't get it right 80% of the time until it's actually happening.

2. What do you do at home when it rains? Stay indoors? It's just water. Go do what you'd normally do. Presumably you have enough sense to bring the right clothing with you. If it's terrible thunderstorms, sure, take cover and do indoor activities, but otherwise, get on with it. I was here one June when it rained 28 days out of 30. We went kayaking. We went spelunking. We went horseback riding. We went hiking. We went caving. It's been raining and storming here almost every day since the beginning of June. We haven't curtailed our activities except during severe thunderstorms.
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Jun 18th, 2018, 04:59 PM
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Hi, At this late date, I'd go as planned. I've found that often when it rains, it clears up later in the day or vice versa. Just bring ponchos, you can still explore the little village, take train to nearby villages to explore. The lift would probably still be working up to the Mannlichen, if it would clear a bit. Go to the Swiss made little store on the main drag of Wengen, pizza on sort of deck of the bar on main street. Too late to change for next week.
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Jun 18th, 2018, 10:49 PM
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quokka is a she, Pal;-)
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Jun 19th, 2018, 02:52 AM
  #14
 
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Thunderstorms are frequent in late afternoon along the Northern slopes of the Alps.
I live close to Berne and saw during the whole last 2 weeks how the weather got bad first in the Southern Emmental (Napf), then in the Schwarzenburgerland and in the Interlaken area. While there was heavy rain in these areas, the Swiss midlands were only little cloudy and Valais had nothing but sunshine (as usual).
As a general rule, you may hike
in the Appenzell area if you want to get wet for sure,
in Central Switzerland and Interlaken area if you don't mind getting wet
along the glaciers arund Rhone Valley (Riederalp-Aletsch Glacier, Loetschental, Crans-Montana, St. Luc, Graechen.... if you don't want to get wet
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Jun 19th, 2018, 05:18 AM
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We had three days in Murren a few years back. Despite the dismal forecast and the mountain cams in our hotel room, we hiked anyway, and wore our rain gear. It was amazingly beautiful - foggy, misty, and yes rainy. You could hear the cows before you could see them. We had a magical time. GO!
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Jun 20th, 2018, 09:00 AM
  #16
twk
 
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Originally Posted by bendivertx View Post
My wife and I are headed to Switzerland next week and are planning to be in Wengen mid-week. The advance forecast on the two full days we are scheduled to be in Wengen shows thunderstorms both days. I know things can change from a forecast 10-12 days out but it certainly isn't promising, especially since our main reason for being there was to do a lot of hiking and photography. The forecast looks a little better earlier in the week, but we are scheduled to be in Monetreaux for a couple days first, and our hotels are booked accordingly. I do believe we can still cancel our hotels but I'm not sure we could change things around though I haven't checked availability yet. My question for those who have been is what would you do? Would you try to rearrange the whole trip to be up in Wengen when weather is less rainy? Is there anything really to do and see in the BO when it is storming? We are debating canceling the whole trip, since we are using United miles to get there so everything is still refundable at this point. Thoughts and suggestions would be appreciated!
We spent a week in Wengen in 2016, and had less than optimal weather. However, the weather forecast for precipitation really doesn't tell the story. Yes, you could have thunderstorms mid-to-late afternoon, and that forecast for rain would be proven right, but that doesn't necessarily mean the whole day is a loss. The morning could be quite suitable for hiking.

Conversely, you could have a day where no precipitation is forecast, and none occurs, but low level clouds impede visibility on the high mountain trails. There's little point in going on a mountain hike if all you are going to see is clouds or fog. The weather forecasts for cloud cover are very inaccurate, and, as I recall, you can't really find anything forecasting this in any detail more than a day out (if I recall correctly).

The unpredictable nature of the weather is why I always suggest that folks use the Berner Oberland as a base for as long as possible, and do things like daytrip to Bern, the Ballenburg outdoor musuem, Lakes Thun and Brienz as bad weather alternatives.
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Jun 20th, 2018, 07:26 PM
  #17
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Originally Posted by StCirq View Post
1. Weather forecasts all over Europe these days are meaningless. Even the météo agricole here can't get it right 80% of the time until it's actually happening.

What do you do at home when it rains? Stay indoors?
Well, yes - I'm usually at work so it makes no difference it t's raining or not.

Greatly appreciate all the advice and suggestions. We are going ahead with the trip and will hope we get nice enough weather when we're in the BO to enjoy the scenery and bring back some great photos. But if the weather is really bad at least we've got some suggestions on other things to do. Thanks everyone!
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Jun 21st, 2018, 11:18 AM
  #18
 
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Hi Ask at your hotel in Wengen if bad weather, my son hiked to nearby villages, and saw some gorgeous cows, and shopped at some nice little stores where he got me a lovely hand embroidered hankie. Might not be your interest, but the hotel would have some ideas. For sure , ride the lift up to the Mannlichen if clouds are not low, gorgeous spot to not miss, get discount ticket at hotel for lift. Train comes right into Wengen and undoubtedly goes to these little villages nearby. Not sure if Swiss Rail pass works for that lift. Also hotel up there on the Mannlichen at top of lift, might be a restaurant, ask in Wengen, as that would be a nice place to walk out to, not far, can see from top of lift. few blocks.
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Jun 22nd, 2018, 07:21 AM
  #19
 
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Originally Posted by bendivertx View Post
My wife and I are headed to Switzerland next week and are planning to be in Wengen mid-week. The advance forecast on the two full days we are scheduled to be in Wengen shows thunderstorms both days. I know things can change from a forecast 10-12 days out but it certainly isn't promising, especially since our main reason for being there was to do a lot of hiking and photography. The forecast looks a little better earlier in the week, but we are scheduled to be in Monetreaux for a couple days first, and our hotels are booked accordingly. I do believe we can still cancel our hotels but I'm not sure we could change things around though I haven't checked availability yet. My question for those who have been is what would you do? Would you try to rearrange the whole trip to be up in Wengen when weather is less rainy? Is there anything really to do and see in the BO when it is storming? We are debating canceling the whole trip, since we are using United miles to get there so everything is still refundable at this point. Thoughts and suggestions would be appreciated!
Don't cancel the trip because the region is gorgeous even in the rain. A forecast of rain in that region and time of year usually means afternoon thunderstorms; the morning is usually very nice even on days with that kind of forecast.

This Gimmelwald webcam is showing awesome weather at the moment (June 22, 4 pm local): http://www.gimmelwald.ch/e/webcam/main.html

Last edited by Edward2005; Jun 22nd, 2018 at 07:23 AM.
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Jun 22nd, 2018, 02:48 PM
  #20
 
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I would never cancel a big trip because of a possible bad weather forecast (unless we're talking a hurricane or something substantial enough to interfere with air travel).
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