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Balmy January set to go down in record books

Weather Observations: Switzerland
Photo: Skiers lifted above the green in the quest for snow (Keystone Archive)

Jan 31, 2007
The month of January is set to be the warmest on record in Switzerland despite the cold snap at the end of the month, according to the national weather service.
MeteoSwiss said Zurich recorded an average temperature of 4.8° Celsius up until January 29, which was 1.3°C higher than the previous record set in 1993.
The weather service said temperatures in January followed on from the highs that marked the last few months of 2006.The unseasonably warm weather comes after two winters that were cold for periods long enough for smaller bodies of water to freeze. The temperatures were below the norm of the past 40 years.But the month of January since the mid 1970s has been markedly milder than in the previous decades.North, northeastern and southern Switzerland experienced temperatures much higher than the norm, and records were set in Basel, Bern, Zurich and Lugano.And the average temperature was exceeded on several days in mountain regions, and nearly every second day on Mount Säntis in the northeast. This development coupled with little snowfall, has wreaked havoc with the ski industry, with many low-lying resorts unable to open for business.
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