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2011: Switzerland's hottest year on record

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2011: Switzerland's hottest year on record
Patrick Hutter
11:05 CET+01:00

2011 has been the hottest year since 1864, when Switzerland first began to measure and record temperatures, said MeteoSwiss on Tuesday.

Temperatures have been two degrees higher on average and the country has experienced its second worst drought, with the first four months of the year in particular unusually mild and dry.

On April 7th, for instance, temperatures soared to 26.1 degrees in Basel. In the Ticino region, in the south of the country, the same month saw near-tropical heat, with the city of Locarno-Monti basking in a balmy 31.8 degrees.

The summer, by contrast, saw very changeable weather. July temperatures were well below average for the season and rainfall was heavy.

Real summery weather did not arrive until August. The 22nd of that month was the hottest day of the year in Switzerland with temperatures hovering around 33 degrees. In the Alpine town of Sion, the mercury rose to 36.8 degrees.

The Swiss will also remember September 2011 for its mild temperatures and dry weather, and ultimately also for concerns surrounding a severe drought in the north of the country.

It was the second driest year since 1864. Even trees in Geneva were tricked by the unusual conditions and started blossoming again in November.

There was heavy snowfall in high-altitude resorts as early as September and October, but the eagerly awaited precitipitation did not reach the plateaus until mid-December, considerably later than normal.

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