January mildest on record in Switzerland, new data shows

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Despite heavy snowfall and rain, last month was Switzerland’s mildest January on record.

After heavy rains and snow, Switzerland experienced spring-like temperatures and sunshine in January, said weather officials in the Alpine country.

Persistent low pressure and storms, with moist air from the Atlantic Ocean and the Mediterranean Sea, resulted in the heavy snow and rains.

Many Swiss resort towns recently experienced near-record snow levels, Swissinfo recently reported, but noted it was out of step with a years-long trend of declining snowfall, and the reported shrinking of the country’s glaciers, due to climate change.

The average temperature in January was 0.6 degrees Celsius, just above the previous record high of 0.4 degrees Celsius set in 2007, Meteosuisse reported.

The weather service said this was the mildest month since national temperatures were first recorded in 1864.

Certain regional temperature records for January were also beaten.
In the canton of Geneva, it averaged 6.2 degrees Celsius last month, up from the previous record of 4.5 degrees Celsius in 1936.

In Sion, the capital of Canton Valais in the heart of the Swiss Alps, the average temperature for January was four degrees Celsius, beating the previous record of three degrees Celsius in 2007.

Davos, where the World Economic Forum is held, registered its fourth highest monthly snowfall (250 cm) since measurements began in 1931.

Meteosuisse said the Burglind storm which crossed Switzerland generated record wind speeds of 195 km per hour at the Pilatus Mountain near Lucerne, smashing the previous record of 168 km per hour set on Jan. 5, 2012.

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