Where’s the snow One has been wondering this in the lowlands for weeks. In Bern and Zurich only a few centimeters fell, which melted again immediately, that was on December 12th. And even though the temperatures are currently low, December and January didn’t really feel like winter.
It has rarely been so mild and so dry. This is confirmed by data from Meteo Switzerland. At the Zurich-Fluntern weather station, there was only 26.6 millimeters of precipitation in January (including the forecasts for the coming days). It has only been dry twice in the past 20 years. This has only happened 28 times since the measurement began 158 years ago.
The current situation is also unusual because the amount of precipitation in January has tended to increase since the start of the measurement. This applies not only to Zurich, but also to Bern. The same picture is shown there: At the Bern-Zollikofen station, it has been only twice as dry in the last 20 years as in the current January, only 35 times since the start of the series of measurements.
As Meteonews recently announced, January has not only been low in precipitation, but also exceptionally sunny due to the high-pressure weather. In Bern, Neuchâtel and Payerne, the sunniest January since the start of the measurement was already recorded on January 21 – after only two thirds of the month. The series of measurements in Payerne goes back to 1964, in Neuchâtel to 1959 and in Bern even to 1886.
It is also exceptionally mild this winter. In Bern, the average temperature in January was 0.9 degrees. For comparison: it has been 0.2 degrees in the last 30 years. It was even more bleak the previous month when the temperature was a full 2.3 degrees above the long-term average. This made December the seventh warmest ever.
In Zurich, both January (2.6 instead of 0.9 degrees) and December (3.8 instead of 1.6 degrees) were significantly above the average of the past 30 years. So far there have only been seven months of December at the Zurich-Fluntern station that were even warmer.
Nationwide, December was the third warmest since the start of the measurement. Individual foehn valleys on the north side of the Alps registered the mildest December since the start of measurement in 1864. January has also been warmer than usual so far, the icy temperatures of the past few days are an exception.
According to Meteo Switzerland, a cold period is not to be expected – on the contrary: meteorologists expect it to become milder again in the next seven to ten days. There is also precipitation. However, the lowlands cannot look forward to snow. The snowfall limit is likely to be 1200 to 1600 meters.
To date, it hasn’t snowed in Basel. The city is slowly but surely approaching the record. Only four times in the past 90 years did the first fresh snow come later than on January 24.
It is far from certain that winter in the lowlands will finally come in February. If you believe Meteo Switzerland’s seasonal forecasts, it will remain rather mild in the coming month. However, the probability that this prediction is correct is only 60 percent. The weather forecast over several months remains an experiment (read here why).
Created: 01/24/2020, 05:52 PM