Thar She Blows – The Föhn

 

Föhn – (foen) n. a German word for a warm, strong and often very dry  wind that often blows off the north slopes of the Alps, but can also be at other places.

Here are ten Föhn facts:

10. The Föhn can raise temperatures 30 °C (54 °F) in just a matter of hours. As a result, it can melt snow rapidly and can cause major problems for mountain climbers here.

9. The Föhn are incredibly dry. As a result, the views are especially bright and clear when they blow.

8. The Föhn can last from less than an hour to even several days.

7. They reach all the way to Munich and beyond to central Europe.

6. The Föhn occur when the moist air blows off the Mediterranean Sea, drops its moisture on the southern side of the Swiss Alps, and is then, transformed into a dry, warm wind, that careens down the northern slopes of the Swiss Alps into Central Europe.

5. Parts of Switzerland enjoy a warmer climate because of the Föhn bringing moist winds off the Mediterranean over the Alps.

4. The Föhn arrive suddenly. They change a brisk, fall morning into a summery afternoon.

3. The Föhn are problematic for some people. A study showed suicide and accidents increased by 10 percent during Föhn winds. People complain of  sickness, have sleepless nights, dizziness, irritability and/or a lack of concentration.

2. The winds can have disasterous effects for farmers.  Feed that is put out for stock can be blown away. If there are too many Föhn in the spring, it will be too dry for grass to grow. When they occurr in the summer, they bring a risk of fire.  They can also spread fire very quickly.

1. Föhn is similar to the German word for hairdryer.





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3 thoughts on “Thar She Blows – The Föhn

  1. Did you know that lots of Swiss people hate drafts? My friend M read that its because many believe its bad luck and brings in disease. Wonder if its Föhn related?

  2. Pingback: Chur, We Can’t Pronounce It But We Liked It | schwingeninswitzerland

  3. Pingback: Breaking Wind – Le Mistral | schwingeninswitzerland

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