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Stormy, wet and snowy January 2018 in Switzerland was mildest on record

After heavy rains and snow, Switzerland enjoyed spring-like temperatures and sunshine in January

After heavy rain and snow, Switzerland enjoyed spring-like temperatures and sunshine in January

(Keystone)

Last month was the mildest January on record, according to the Swiss national weather service Météosuisse. Persistent low pressure and storms, with moist air from the Atlantic Ocean and Mediterranean Sea, resulted in heavy rains and snowfall

The average temperature in January was 0.6 degrees Celsius, just above the previous record high of 0.4˚C set in 2007, Météosuisse reportedexternal link. This was the mildest month since national temperature was first recorded in 1864. 

Certain regional temperatures records for January were also beaten. In canton Geneva, it averaged 6.2˚C last month, up from the previous record of 4.5˚C in 1936. In Sion, the capital of canton Valais in the heart of the Swiss Alps, the average temperature for January was 4˚C, beating the previous record of 3˚C in 2007. 

Switzerland was affected by persistent low pressure and storms last month, with moist air moving up from the Atlantic Ocean and Mediterranean Sea. 

This resulted in heavy rain below 1,000 metres and snow across much of the Alps, especially in canton Valais. Davos, in canton Graubünden, registered its fourth highest monthly snowfall (250 centimetres) since measurements began in 1931. 

The Burglind storm which crossed Switzerland generated record wind speeds of 195 km/h at the Pilatus mountain near Lucerne, smashing the previous record of 168 km/h set on January 5, 2012. 

RTS/sb

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