The summer of 2022 was Switzerland’s second hottest since the beginning of measurements in 1864, according to weather forecaster Meteo Swiss. The only hotter summer was recorded in 2003.
The last three months were extremely dry, especially in western Switzerland, with repeated heat waves and sunshine hours well above the norm, wrote Meteo News. Average temperatures in June, July and August were 2.3 degrees higher than the average over the last 30 years, exceeding the summer of 2018, another exceptionally hot period. The only year with a hotter summer was 2003.
Beyond the averages a number of heat records were broken this summer, according to Meteo News. On 19 June 2022 the temperature reached 36.5 degrees in Neuchâtel. Not only was this a June record for the city but also the hottest temperature ever recorded there before the summer solstice. On 4 August 2022, the temperature in Geneva reached 38.3 degrees, breaking the record for the hottest day ever recorded in the city. The previous record (37.6 degrees) occurred on 13 August 2003.
The summer of 2022 was also notable for huge temperature swings. On 19 July 2022, the temperature in Geneva started at 21.8 before climbing 16.4 degrees to to 38.2 before dropping back to 21.6 by the end of the day. Only two days in 1962 have had higher temperature volatility than 19 July 2022.
During July 2022, the zero-degree altitude limit rose more than 400 metres above the norm from 3,800 metres to close to 4,300 metres. This has accelerated the melting of Switzerland’s glaciers and produced more melt water than some hydro electric installations could use.