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Changes to the climate 2019: fifth hottest year in Switzerland

two boys jumping into Rhine

Two boys jumping form a bridge into the Rhine in August 2019

(Keystone / Melanie Duchene)

Switzerland has registered the fifth hottest year since records began in 1864, continuing a trend towards warmer weather which started after 2010.

According to current calculations by the Swiss national weather service MeteoSwiss, by the end of 2019 the mean temperatureexternal link (measured across the country and at various altitudes) in Switzerland was 6.5 degrees Celsius.

Ten months were warmer than the norm for 1981-2010, with only May and January showing “significantly below  average” monthly temperatures, MeteoSwissexternal link said in a blog postexternal link on Friday.  

The summer of 2019 was the third warmest, and the autumn the sixth warmest. Long heatwaves with temperatures of at least 30°C have become more common in Switzerland, especially south of the Alps, it said. In 2019 there were two heatwaves, in June and July. The highest temperature recorded in Switzerland was 38°C in Sion.

+ July heatwave adds to one of the hottest Swiss summers on record

The five warmest years have all been registered after 2010. “In addition to this year, the years were 2011 with 6.6°C, 2014 with 6.5°C, 2015 with 6.6°C and 2018 with the record of 6.9°C,” MeteoSwiss said.

“These five extreme years are 1°C or more above the warmth record before 1980.”

MeteoSwiss/Keystone-SDA/ilj

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