Switzerland (GenevaLunch) - Gray skies and relatively warm temperatures are the rule on the plain 28-29 March but on the peaks the snow is still good, with a solid base. Aminona, Valais, at 2,400 m, still has a base of 220m, for example, with powder. World Meteorological Day was this week, so we’ll turn the spotlight for a moment on those good people who’ve helped us plan our winter weekends during the ski season.
World Meteorological Organization in Geneva to host major conference
The impact of climate change remains a hot topic, but the relationship between climate and weather is not always well understood.
The Geneva-based WMO is a United Nations body with 188 member states that provides the framework for international cooperation on weather, climate and water. For this year’s world meteorological day the WMO focused on “weather, climate and the air we breathe,” noting that two million people die prematurely every year because of pollutants. “As scientists analyze more data, they increasingly understand how closely air quality is connected to the weather-climate system. Weather variables control the transport and longevity of pollutants around the globe. The more scientists understand the weather-climate system, the better they are able to forecast the distribution of potentially harmful atmospheric particles and gases.”
The WMO hosts a major international meeting, the World Climate Conference, in Geneva 31 August-4 September – only the third in three decades.
Report from the Alps
We’re moving into avalanche season, with warmer weather. For this weekend, temperatures are predicted of 5-7C, so wet slides are a possibility below 1,800 m. The avalanche danger on higher slopes remains at level 3, but is more marked on southeast facing wind-loaded slopes and in areas adjacent to ridge lines (the national avalanche bulletin). Saturday morning conditions: whiteout on many slopes, with the sun trying to come through.
The only cold spot in Switzerland is in Grisons, with temperatures of -3/-1C, according to MeteoSwiss.
Most resorts in the Alps will remain open to the end of the spring school holidays, 19 April. A date for your calendar: the Caprices Ice Festival in Crans-Montana is one of the big social and music events of the season, a great way to put away your skis.
by Shirley Curran
Sadly our season is coming to a close. It seems a pity with over two metres of snow still measured on our upper slopes, but the resorts argue that after the end of March, the skiers stop coming and the staff contracts are agreed in advance and reach their termination. Nevertheless, with this week’s new snow and fine weather predicted at the weekend, this is the time to take advantage, one last time, of our best season ever.