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Warming planet heralds early spring

Switzerland
Image:
Trees are flowering in front of Lausanne’s Musée de l’Elysée — but a late winter storm is expected this weekend. (Julie Varnau, WRS)

Story:
It’s been warmer than average so far this year in Switzerland. That means trees, flowers, grasses are blooming earlier than normal. The average temperature in Geneva was nearly three degrees higher in January, one and half degrees higher in February, and nearly two degrees higher so far this month. "We had a winter where we had not many cold-air outbreaks from the north. Most of our weather came from the west or the southwest, which resulted in rather a mild winter. But the warm weather so far this year has bigger implications than just an early allergy season. The earlier-than-normal blossoms, like cherry trees which are blooming 20 days earlier than usual in Switzerland, are now subject to freezing. Just in time for the first weekend of spring, Meteo Swiss is forecasting snow down to 400 metres." This year-on-year unpredictability in the weather is hard for plants and animals to adapt to in the long-term.

Today is officially the first day of spring, and while parts of Switzerland have already been experiencing spring-like weather, the weekend forecast calls for snow. For World Radio Switzerland, Jackie Campo reports on the implications of this unpredictable weather.

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