Föhn winds in Switserland

E. Linacre


Föhn winds (Note 7.E) in the lowlands of northern Switzerland seem to have many effects (1). It is a dry, relatively warm wind that promotes forest fires. It is said to affect animals and people as well. Cattle are turned off their feed, and people are more likely to suffer tension, migraine and even coronary attacks. Suicides and traffic accidents increase in number, perhaps because of a rise of certain hormones during föhn winds. However, solid scientific evidence of the alleged effects is missing.


(1) Simons, P. 1997. Mountain wind turns into a health hazard. ‘The Guardian’ (a London newspaper) quoted in the Canberra Times of 26/1/97, page 25.