The month of March in Switzerland was too warm, too dry and the skies were unseasonably blue according to weather specialists.
Normally the sun is visible 30 to 50 per cent of the time during the day, but this year that figure was between 65 and 80 said MeteoSwiss, the Swiss national weather service. This is comparable to conditions around the Mediterranean.
Over the last ten days of the month, the skies remained clear for the best part, with the sun shining between 85 and 99 per cent of the time.
The weather specialists at Swiss public television said this March was the sunniest since 1953, with some areas north of the Alps receiving between 200 and 280 hours of sunshine.
That means that the sun was out as much as in mid-summer, even though the days are four hours shorter at this time of year.
Conditions were also much warmer according to MeteoNews, a private meteorological services provider. Temperatures were three to four degrees above average, topping 20 degrees on a number of days.
There was also far less rainfall than usual, with levels 20 to 70 per cent below the average. Only in the southern canton of Ticino was able to report normal levels.
swissinfo.ch and agencies