Have we just seen the last ‘hot’ day of the Swiss summer?

Temperatures hit 30C in much of Switzerland on Wednesday but there is a reasonable chance it won’t happen again for many of us.

Have we just seen the last ‘hot’ day of the Swiss summer?
A rainbow above the vineyard terraces of Lavaux on the banks of Lake Geneva on August 1st. Photo: AFP

After an extremely long summer, it could be that the magic 30-degree mark, which indicates a “hot” day for meteorologists, will not be reached again in most of Switzerland.

On Wednesday, temperatures hit a toasty 33.1C in Gösgen in the canton of Solothurn, an even 33C degrees in Basel-Binningen, and 31C or 32C in many other locations.

Read also: 16 drown as Swiss summer takes its toll

But Thursday is set to be a tad cooler, at least in the north of the country, while Friday will usher in a distinctly cooler and wetter spell in most areas.

The summer may make a return of sorts next week and “hot” days can be recorded in some locations in late August and even into September.

On the Swiss plateau, however, they occur in September only every five to ten years, weather service Meteonews reported on Wednesday.

The hottest temperature this month to date was 36.2C in Sion on August 5th.

The records for heat set in 2003 look set to stand if current forecasts are anything to go by.


Europe facing record year for wildfire destruction: EU

Europe's blistering summer may not be over yet, but 2022 is already breaking records, with nearly 660,000 hectares ravaged since January, according to the EU's satellite monitoring service.

Europe facing record year for wildfire destruction: EU

And while countries on the Mediterranean have normally been the main seats of fires in Europe, this year, other countries are also suffering heavily.

Fires this year have forced people to flee their homes, destroyed buildings and burned forests in EU countries, including Austria, Croatia, France, Greece, Italy, Portugal and Spain.

Some 659,541 hectares (1.6 million acres) have been destroyed so far, data from the European Forest Fire Information System (EFFIS) showed, setting a record at this point in the year since data collection began in 2006.

Europe has suffered a series of heatwaves, forest fires and historic drought that experts say are being driven by human-induced climate change.

They warn more frequent and longer heatwaves are on the way.

The worst-affected country has been Spain, where fire has destroyed 244,924 hectares, according to EFFIS data.

The EFFIS uses satellite data from the EU’s Copernicus Atmosphere Monitoring Service (CAMS).

READ ALSO: EXPLAINED: How the climate crisis is hitting Europe hard

The data comes after CAMS said Friday that 2022 was a record year for wildfire activity in southwestern Europe and warned that a large proportion of western Europe was now in “extreme fire danger”.

“2022 is already a record year, just below 2017,” EFFIS coordinator Jesus San-Miguel said. In 2017, 420,913 hectares had burned by August 13, rising to 988,087 hectares by the end of the year.

“The situation in terms of drought and extremely high temperatures has affected all of Europe this year and the overall situation in the region is worrying, while we are still in the middle of the fire season,” he said.

Since 2010, there had been a trend towards more fires in central and northern Europe, with fires in countries that “normally do not experience fires in their territory”, he added.

“The overall fire season in the EU is really driven mainly by countries in the Mediterranean region, except in years like this one, in which fires also happen in central and northern regions,” he added.