Can you get sick from cold weather zurich autumn


How Cold Weather Affects Your Health

Akemi Narindal Aoki - Digital Marketing Manager
Dr. Akemi Narindal-Aoki
Sr. Content Marketing Manager

After a long second summer in Europe, temperatures are starting to drop. Although the weather itself doesn’t make you sick, cold temperatures and reduced exposure to sunlight can make you more vulnerable to viruses.

This autumn, central Europe has been experiencing an atypically long second summer. As Dr. Alexander Stauch demonstrated in his article from last week, “Autumn returns after record October”, temperatures have been well above average when compared to the past 30 years.

But as you can see, it won’t last. In this first week of November, temperatures are expected to drop an average of 7-10 degrees.

record temperature october zurich
record temperature october berlin

Can you get sick from cold weather?

It’s commonly assumed that cold temperatures take a toll on our health and the medical community has enough statistical evidence to back this up. For example, on this chart from the American Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, you can see that the number of people infected with influenza increases in cooler seasons and decreases in warmer times.

Influenza Positive Tests Reported to CDC by U.S. Clinical Laboratories, May - October 2022
Influenza Positive Tests Reported to CDC by U.S. Clinical Laboratories, May - October 2022

But is it really the weather that makes you sick?

Technically, no. Even though respiratory illnesses such as influenza follow a seasonal trend, the weather itself doesn’t carry any virus or disease. Rather, it’s our social and physiological responses to weather patterns that create favourable conditions for the transmission of certain illnesses.

Why do people get sick in winter?

Viruses spread more easily in winter months because of a combination of factors resulting from low temperatures and humidity levels and reduced exposure to sunlight.

According to Harvard Medical School, while cold weather allows viruses to thrive, it suppresses people’s immune system. Reduced exposure to sunlight also contributes to a weaker immune system as we absorb less vitamin D. Furthermore, people tend to stay more indoors breathing the same air and in closer association for longer periods of time, which contributes to the spread of viruses.

Covering the first half of November, the plots below show that, besides temperature, as the northern hemisphere starts to lean away from the sun and the skies get cloudier, daylight hours will also be dropping.

temperature drop in zurich autumn 2022
Temperature and sunshine duration in Zurich from October 26th to November 26th 2022
Temperature and sunshine duration in Zurich from October 26th to November 26th 2022
Temperature and sunshine duration in Berlin from October 26th to November 26th 2022

Stay healthy! Be ready to get warmer coats and an extra dose of vitamins!

If you wish to do your own analysis of the cold months ahead, you can explore our data using the Weather API. If you don’t have access yet, you can test it for free!

Melanie Luther – Meteorologist and Head of Sales
Melanie Luther
Head of Sales and Meteorologist

Customised industry solutions

Get in touch - we are here for you.

Contact us if you have questions about specific industry applications or would like advice from our experts! We look forward to your enquiry and will get back to you within one working day.

Latest News

Stay up to date with the latest news from Meteomatics.

Hurricane due to climate change 2023 01 05 02 21 38 utc
Hurricanes Explained
09/08/2023 / Hurricanes are amongst the most violent and damaging of Earth’s natural disasters. Fortunately the mechanisms which cause them to develop are well understood, and the behavior of a hurricane over its lifetime can be well predicted by modern weather models. In this article we describe what hurricanes are and how they are formed, as well as how weather data can be used to mitigate their impact.
Company Event 2023
09/06/2023 / Friends and colleagues from over 22 countries came together at the four star Berghotel Jägerhof, to share their cutting-edge work as well as beautiful views, delicious food and plentiful wine with each other.
Transmission Lines
Energizing America
08/05/2023 / Trusted by 80% of Europe's top electricity firms, now in America. Our Swiss-engineered platform offers forecasts & predictions tailored to solar, wind, gas & oil sectors. Optimize operations, minimize risks, and maximize yields. Experience effortless, precise, affordable solutions!
Heat Dangers
Record-Breaking Heat in the US
07/27/2023 / As record-breaking heat scorches a large swath of the U.S., Meteomatics North America CEO, Paul Walsh, discusses the escalating health risks and economic impacts with Fox Weather. Emphasizing the "Dome of Doom" phenomenon, he underscores the urgency of proactive education and data-driven measures to help prevent disaster.
Tim oldenkamp doz Lu11 P Yz Q unsplash
Ask an Academic
07/19/2023 / Lucille Borlaza used Meteomatics data to study the effects of lockdown restrictions on the potential health implications of reducing the use of fuel-burning vehicles.
Flood Cover
Billion-Dollar Disasters
07/19/2023 / A study finds climate change is projected to result in a 52% surge in heavy rainfall events in the American Northeast. U.S. CEO Paul Walsh discusses the economic implications and heightened importance of dealing with what could be another billion-dollar disaster with Fox Weather.
Copy of Web Logo Header Image 2
Best Weather APIs
07/13/2023 / In this article, we have thoroughly analyzed the distinctive features of multiple weather APIs and compiled a list of the top-performing options currently available in the market.
Hurricane Season Summer 2023
07/13/2023 / Despite El Niño, long-range forecasters at Colorado State University expect a busier Atlantic hurricane season, and now’s the time to prepare your business. Fox Weather invites Paul Walsh, CEO of Meteomatics North America, to share insights into the updated forecast.
Schweizer hagel
Schweizer Hagel
07/11/2023 / In this article, you will discover how Schweizer Hagel uses Meteomatics' weather data to assess risks and determine insurance premiums while enhancing its operational efficiency.
American public power association b Oeha Mcbaa E unsplash
Leading Electricity Companies Choose Meteomatics
07/10/2023 / We’re proud to share that 80% of the electricity companies with the highest power capacity in Europe have chosen the Meteomatics Weather API as their trusted source of weather data.
Explore Our Services

We provide the most accurate weather data for any location, at any time, to improve your business.

Icon on Picture rainy cloud large
Data Collection
We combine existing weather data with unique technologies and the skills of our weather and data scientists to bring you the most accurate weather data.
Icon on Picture datashop large v2
Weather Data Shop
If you only need one-time access to certain weather data, you can directly download individual weather data sets from our weather data shop. Here you will find a comprehensive selection of current and historical weather data as well as sector-specific weather parameters.
Icon on Picture api large
Weather API
With our Weather API you get continuous access to worldwide high-resolution weather, ocean, environment and climate data as well as historical data, real-time data, forecasts and climate scenarios up to 2100.
Icon on Picture EURO1k v5 large
European weather model at 1 km resolution: get accurate weather forecasts across Europe and make better decisions.
Icon on Picture metx large v1
Visualise Weather
Visualise all weather events in a high-resolution map view - with our web-based weather map tool MetX based on the Weather API.
Icon on Picture solar forecast large
Energy Forecasting
Energy forecasts for solar, wind and hydropower - based on the world's most accurate weather data.
Icon on Picture meteodrone large
Closing the meteorological data gap in the Earth's lower atmosphere with Meteodrones. Designed and assembled in Switzerland.
Icon on Picture meteobase large
Meteobase - the home of our Meteodrone. The Meteobase is the perfect partner and home for our weather drones to measure weather data at any location.