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Switzerland has first summer day... in March

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Switzerland has first summer day... in March
It's summer in Lake Maggiore already. Photo: Ivo Scholz/Swiss Tourism
12:07 CET+01:00
Temperatures in the Swiss canton of Ticino reached 25.2 degrees on Sunday, making it the first ‘summer’ day of the year... and it's only just spring.
Though Monday March 20th is considered the start of spring, it seems some parts of Switzerland have skipped a season.
 
A mass of warm air boosted by a foehn wind helped the mercury rise above 25 degrees in Cadenazzo near Lake Maggiore in Ticino on Sunday, said weather service SRF Meteo in a statement.
 
Days when temperatures rise above 25 degrees are considered ‘summer’ days, while 30+ degrees is classed as a heatwave. 
 
However it’s not the earliest summer day on Swiss record; that occurred in 2000 when 25 degrees was achieved on March 9th. 
 
And 2005 holds the record for the warmest March day, of 28 degrees on March 19th, also in Cadenazzo.
 
The mild temperatures may be welcomed by many looking forward to summer, but it’s bad news for the ski industry. 
 
The home run in Grindelwald was a lonesome strip of white amid green fields on Sunday. Photo: The Local
 
Despite an early start in November, a long dry spell meant the ski season didn’t really get started until January, and without a further cold and snowy period it may not last much longer, particularly in lower altitude resorts. 
 
The situation has forced some, such as Charmey in the Fribourg Alps, to consider reorientating themselves towards summer tourism, reported La Tribune de Geneve last week.
 
Speaking to the paper the director of Charmey’s ski lift said the lifts, already shut to skiers, only ran for 50 days this season instead of an average of 61 over the last ten years. The home run back to the village was only open for two days, he added.
 
Last year a study revealed that Swiss resorts now have 40 fewer snow days a year than they did in the 1970s.
 
The mild weather is set to last this week, with temperatures up to 21 degrees in the Valais on Monday.
 
 

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