Swiss January heat record broken for north side of Alps

The municipality of Delemont in Switzerland experienced its warmest January day ever on Sunday, with temperatures reaching 20.2 degrees Celsius (68.4 degrees Fahrenheit).

According to MeteoSwiss, Switzerland’s national meteorological and climate service, warm winds from the southwest caused January heat records to fall at many monitoring stations on the north side of the Alps mountain range.

“For the first time, 20 C in January on the north side of the Alps!” it tweeted.

The Foehn effect, which is a dry, warm downslope breeze on the downwind side of a mountain range, combined with the moderate southwesterly winds to produce the 20.2 C temperature recorded in Delemont, according to the agency.

Delemont experienced weather “worthy of June” at the start of the year, with temperatures hovering over 16 degrees above the 1991–2020 average.

The capital of the Jura region in northwest France is Delemont.

While there was a line for ice cream in Vevey on Lake Geneva, swimmers participated in the customary New Year’s Day dip in Geneva.

They celebrated the arrival of 2023 in costume, with champagne, and in unusually warm air that was well above the water’s 8.5 C temperature.

The previous January temperature record for Switzerland north of the Alps was 19.4 C, which was attained on January 12, 1993, at Lucerne.

In 1944 at Lugano and in 2007 at Locarno-Monti, on the south side of the Alps in the Ticino area, 24.0 C was the highest January temperature ever recorded anywhere in Switzerland.

Temperatures in the capital Vaduz of the tiny principality of Liechtenstein, which is bordered by Switzerland and is also covered by MeteoSwiss, hit 20.0 C on Sunday.

That surpassed the 19.0 C recorded on January 22, 1997 to set a new January heat record at the station.

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