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Hot stuff: Swiss winter was second warmest on record

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Hot stuff: Swiss winter was second warmest on record
Tourists ski on a thin layer of snow towards the resort of Leysin on December 28th. Photo: AFP
13:05 CEST+02:00
Last winter in Switzerland was the second warmest since records began in 1864, new figures show.

Spring may be struggling to take hold at the moment, but there is no doubt the winter was milder than most.

Temperatures around 4–6C above average in December meant many parts of Switzerland were free of snow at Christmas.

Parts of eastern Switzerland had to wait until January to see their first real snow while the canton of Ticino saw record low levels of snowfall at 1,500 metres at the end of 2015.

While this was frustrating for skiers and snowboarders, the warm, dry weather at the start of winter meant a shorter than usual avalanche season – one which extended from January to early March.

Some 18 people had died in avalanche-related accidents up until April 30th, against an average of 23, according to the Swiss Institute for Snow and Avalanche Research.

Despite the warm winter, spring is still struggling to take hold. Snow was forecast for below 1000 metres in the Glarus, Freibourg and Valais on Monday. Another cold front is expected to hit the country on Tuesday.

There is light at the end of the tunnel though. Temperatures should be a more spring-like 23C on the weekend.

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