A Meteo Suisse spokesperson told Le Matin “there is no doubt that this is the hottest month since records started in 1864, especially at altitude”, while RTS reported that this December is set to be an average of 3.5 degrees above normal and the hottest since 1864. The previous December-record dates from 1868. In addition, 2015 has seen unusually low precipitation, 60 to 85% lower north of the Alps and 70 to 90% lower south of the Alps than the average from 1981 to 2010. These two phenomena together have have meant little snow.
High altitude ski resorts such as Verbier (pictured above on Sunday 27th of December 2015), that normally have good coverage, had large areas without snow. Even the ski run down from the highest point, Mont Fort (3,330m), had rocks showing through in places.
- Switzerland’s coldest places are not where you’d expect (Le News – 24.11.15)
- Switzerland slides to 14th place on climate change performance (Le News – 14.12.15)
- Big rise in Swiss carbon tax from 1 January 2016 (Le News – 29.12.15)
Snow making equipment has allowed many Swiss ski areas to stay open when they would have otherwise been forced to close. Some resorts such as Leysin and Villars have offered discounts to compensate for the poor snow conditions.
As greenhouse emissions have risen so have global temperatures. The NASA website states that 97 percent or more of actively publishing climate scientists agree: Climate-warming trends over the past century are very likely due to human activities.
Fortunately, snow is forecast to fall at many resorts later this week and beyond.