The summer sensations are almost there: sunset at Greifensee on February 26, 2022.Image: keystone
The first three months of 2022 will go to books as the sunniest. This is also reflected in the statistics: Swiss cities have broken their sun records in rows. Only in one city has it remained almost “obscure” in comparison.
Winter 2021/22 has already broken records in several Swiss regions. On the southern side of the Alps we experienced a mild and dry winter like never before. And since the meteorological spring of March 1, mostly sunny and dry weather has ruined the whole of Switzerland.
In March alone, the northern side of the Alps was sunny for 24 days and the southern side of the Alps for 19 days, according to MeteoSwiss, the Federal Office of Meteorology and Climatology. The sunny weather was only interrupted by cloudy days between 15 and 18 March. Otherwise there was hardly a cloud.
This is reflected in the solar balance. In nine largest cities in Switzerland, it was enough for a record seven times since the start of the measurements.
Although measurements of sunshine hours are poorly representative of photovoltaics, owners of solar systems have also benefited. Jan Remund, Meteotest Head of Energy and Climate, writes to Watson: “The months from January to March 2022 are really extreme. Solar radiation is more than double the average of the last 40 years. ”
Global horizontal radiation, as solar radiation is correctly called, has been on the rise in Switzerland since 1981. However, the first few months were very noticeable. Expert Remund says: “I’ve never seen anything like it.”
The first few months were not only positive for owners of photovoltaic systems. Many sun seekers have also enjoyed unprecedented sunshine.
Lugano: Sonnenstube defends its title
Even in this record year, the sunniest place in Switzerland will not be able to compete for its title. Ticino people have already enjoyed an incredible 35,852 minutes of sunshine between January 1st and March 31st 2022 this year – no other part of the country has had more.
This equates to an average of around 6.6 hours of sunshine per day since January 1st. Lugano thus surpassed the previous record of 1961.
The duration of the sun has been recorded in Lugano since 1959. The trend of the last 60 years or so shows a slow but steady increase in sunshine hours. The last four years are all in the top 15. 2019 is 4th, 2020 is 10th, and 2019 is 14th.
Bern: Pulverized disc
In German-speaking Switzerland, the Bernese received more sunshine. The 505 hours since the beginning of the year mark a new record for the federal capital: the old one has almost been pulverized. Bern recorded nearly 50 more hours of sunshine in the first quarter than previous records:
data and sources
Basel: Second record in three years
Even though there is almost an hour of sunshine per day less than in Bern: Basel sets a record for the amount of sunshine for the first quarter for the second time in three years. In 2020, the sun shone from the Basel-Binningen sky for 404 hours, now as much as 415 hours. 2019 also nearly set a record, but missed the 2012 record by two hours.
Geneva: The best year was NOT 2022
In the end, Geneva lacked three hours of sunshine to match the existing record. This dates back to 2012, when Rohnestadt had 469 hours of sunshine.
Lamp: But not in the top 3 in 2021
While Basel have set a new sun record twice in the last four starting quarters, Lucerne has occupied the podium for three of the last four years. 427 hours of sunshine in 2022 are even more than in 2019 (406 hours) and 2020 (375 hours).
Neuchâtel: Record in a known foggy area
Normally Neuchâtel is not one of the sunniest places in Switzerland. The city in the famous foggy area of the southern foot of the Jura may already be expecting the second sunniest winter since the start of the measurements. In winter, the canton’s capital was 141% above the norm from 1991 to 2020 – the deviation was most pronounced only in Güttingen on Lake Constance (146%).
And even in March the sun shone on Neuchâtel. 490 hours of sunshine since the beginning of the year represents the sunniest first quarter since measurements began in 1959.
sion: Only the sixth sunniest start of the year
Valais is known as one of the sunniest and driest regions in Switzerland. But this is not the case with Zion, of all time, in a year that otherwise set records in many places. The 481 hours of sunshine were surpassed only in Lugano, Bern and Neuchâtel, but in the all-time ranking of Sion they are enough only for the 6th place, almost “dark” compared to the other regions.
Also striking: the first quarters of 2019 and 2020, which were also very sunny in other regions, are found here only in 9th and 14th place respectively.
St. Gallen: Well over 400 hours of sunshine for the first time
No, St. Gallen is not known as a solarium. The previous 1990 record was 366 hours of sunshine from January to March. Similar to Bern, this value has now been pulverized. While the Bernese were able to enjoy over 500 hours of sunshine for the first time, St. Gallen crossed the 400 mark for the first time.
Zurich: Significantly more sunshine
The largest city in the country was also delighted with a new sun record. The 481 hours are almost 15% more than the previous record of 2012.
It also strikes: in the top ten sunniest quarters, there are four that are over 100 years old. In our selection, however, the measurements only go back that far for Bern, Basel and Geneva.