Local changes

In southern Switzerland, warming without climate change mitigation will result in temperatures similar to those experienced in northern and central Italy today. Along the shores of the Ticino lakes, the number of tropical nights is on the increase, and at higher altitudes, summery temperatures are becoming more prevalent in the warm season.

Map of the region south of the Alpes with indication of the measurement stations.

South of the Alps, future summer temperatures will be similar to those typical of Florence and Rome today. In Lugano, for example, summer temperatures between 23.0°C and 24.4°C (compared to 21.1°C today) are a possibility without consistent climate change mitigation (RCP8.5 emission scenario). At higher altitudes, summer temperatures are projected to rise significantly as well. In San Bernardino, current summer temperatures of 11.9°C could rise to 17.3°C – thus exceeding the average summer temperature experienced today in lower-lying Piotta.

A comparable picture is seen in the case of summer days, days on which the temperature reaches at least 25°C: Along the shores of the lakes in Ticino, at least 60 summer days per year is considered normal; this is around three times as many as in Piotta, which is located at an altitude of 1,000 m a.s.l. Without climate change mitigation (RCP8.5), Piotta will experience temperatures similar to those recorded today in Lugano and Locarno in the middle of the century. In the latter areas, an increase to around 100 summer days is expected. In lower-lying areas, the impact of warmer summers will be compounded by the increase in tropical nights (nights when temperatures do not drop below 20°C). Near the lakes in Ticino, around 10 tropical nights a year are already the norm in today’s climate. By the middle of the century, this figure could be as high as around 40 per year.

The projected trend for precipitation suggests a decrease in summer and an increase in winter. Without climate change mitigation (RCP8.5), in the summer months in Locarno, for example, there may be between 112 mm and 210 mm of precipitation per month by the middle of this century (compared to 188 mm today). In winter, between 64 mm and 108 mm per month can be expected (compared to 72 mm today). However, changes that run contrary to the current trend cannot be ruled out.

What do RCP2.6 and RCP8.5 mean? You can find an explanation of the emission scenarios here.

What does "the middle of the century" mean? You can find an explanation of the CH2018 time periods here.

Tables

In the following tables, the seasonal absolute values for temperature, precipitation, and certain climate indicators for the present (standard period 1981–2010) and for the two emission scenarios (RCP2.6 and RCP8.5) around the middle of the century (2060) are shown for a selection of monitoring stations south of the Alps.

Temperature

 

Temperature in winter (°C)

Temperature in summer (°C)

Stations

m a.s.l.

Situation today

Situation around 2060

Situation today

Situation around 2060

RCP2.6

RCP8.5

RCP2.6

RCP8.5

Locarno / Monti

367

+4.0

+4.6 to +5.9

+5.9 to +7.1

+20.9

+21.8 to +22.9

+23.0 to +24.4

Lugano

273

+4.1

+4.8 to +5.9

+5.9 to +6.9

+21.1

+21.9 to +23.0

+23.0 to +24.4

Magadino

203

+2.1

+3.0 to +4.2

+4.3 to +5.5

+20.8

+21.6 to +22.7

+22.7 to +24.0

Piotta

990

-0.7

+0.2 to +1.2

+1.4 to +2.2

+16.3

+17.1 to +18.6

+18.4 to +21.0

Poschiavo / Robbia

1078

-1.2

-0.4 to +0.6

+0.8 to +1.8

+15.3

+16.2 to +17.4

+17.4 to +19.8

S. Bernadino

1639

-3.4

-2.7 to -1.7

-1.6 to -0.8

+11.9

+12.6 to +14.2

+14.0 to +17.3

The ’situation today’ represents the actual measured seasonal average temperature over the normal period of 1981 to 2010. The ‘situation around 2060’ gives the relevant projections for the period from 2045 to 2074.
Legend

At the Magadino monitoring station, for example, by the middle of this century (2060), the average winter temperature will probably increase from 2.1°C today to a likely 4.3°C to 5.5°C if greenhouse gas emissions continue to rise unabated (RCP8.5). In this scenario, an average summer temperature between 22.7°C and 24.0°C is possible (compared to 20.8°C today). With consistent climate change mitigation (RCP2.6), the increase in winter temperatures on the Magadino plain can be moderated, with average temperatures of 3.0–4.2°C by 2060 . In summer, temperatures will only rise to around 21.6–22.7°C.

Precipitation

 

Precipitation in winter (mm/month)

Precipitation in summer (mm/month)

Stations

m a.s.l.

Situation today

Situation around 2060

Situation today

Situation around 2060

RCP2.6

RCP8.5

RCP2.6

RCP8.5

Locarno / Monti

367

72

68 to 111

64 to 108

188

138 to 229

112 to 210

Lugano

273

66

61 to 101

58 to 91

155

122 to 189

101 to 180

Magadino

203

73

68 to 112

64 to 105

172

140 to 214

116 to 213

Piotta

990

69

66 to 91

65 to 92

135

107 to 155

97 to 153

Poschiavo / Robbia

1078

52

52 to 81

45 to 77

108

96 to 134

89 to 134

S. Bernadino

1639

82

84 to 113

80 to 116

182

144 to 206

129 to 206

The ‘situation today’ represents the actual measured seasonal average precipitation over the normal period of 1981–2010. The ‘situation around 2060’ gives the relevant projections for the period from 2045 to 2074.
Legend

At the Poschiavo/Robbia monitoring station, the current average precipitation is 108 mm per month during the summer months. For the period around 2060, reductions or increases in summer precipitation are both possible outcomes. Without climate change mitigation (RCP8.5), levels between 89 mm and 134 mm per month are possible. In the same scenario, the trend for winter precipitation suggests a tendency towards an increase (45–77 mm per month for the period around 2060, compared to 52 mm per month today). If comprehensive measures are implemented to reduce greenhouse gas emissions (RCP2.6), the changes in precipitation can be mitigated. In summer, precipitation would then be between 96 mm and 134 mm per month (compared to 108 mm per month today), and in winter, between 52 mm and 81 mm per month (compared to 52 mm per month).

Summer days

Stations

m a.s.l.

Summer days now

Summer days around 2060

RCP2.6

RCP8.5

Locarno / Monti

367

69

80 to 94

99 to 114

Lugano

273

65

77 to 90

94 to 109

Magadino

203

79

91 to 105

109 to 122

Piotta

990

23

34 to 46

59 to 74

Poschiavo / Robbia

1078

19

28 to 42

44 to 72

S. Bernadino

1639

1

1 to 6

4 to 27

‘Summer days now’ represents the actual recorded number of summer days per year, averaged over the normal period of 1981 to 2010. ’Summer days around 2060’ gives the relevant projections for the period from 2045 to 2074.
Legend

Currently, the monitoring station of Locarno/Monti records an average of 69 summer days (temperature of at least 25°C) per year. Without climate change mitigation (RCP8.5), there could be up to 114 summer days per year in Locarno/Monti by the middle of this century (2060). With consistent implementation of climate change mitigation (RCP2.6), the increase would be somewhat less, up to 94 summer days.

Tropical nights

Stations

m a.s.l.

Tropical nights now

Tropical nights around 2060

RCP2.6

RCP8.5

Locarno / Monti

367

8.0

15.6 to 27.0

31.2 to 51.9

Lugano

273

11.3

20.7 to 32.9

38.9 to 58.1

Magadino

203

2.1

5.9 to 13.6

15.3 to 34.3

Piotta

990

0.0

0.0 to 0.2

0.2 to 3.6

Poschiavo / Robbia

1078

0.0

0.0 to 0.1

0.0 to 1.3

S. Bernadino

1639

0.0

0.0 to 0.0

0.0 to 0.2

‘Tropical nights now’ represents the actual recorded number of tropical nights per year, averaged over the normal period of 1981–2010. ‘Tropical nights around 2060’ gives the relevant projections for the period from 2045 to 2074.
Legend

At the monitoring station in Lugano, an average of 11.3 tropical nights per year occurred during the normal period of 1981–2010. Without climate change mitigation (RCP8.5), there could be on average¬ up to 58 tropical nights per year at this station by the middle of this century (2060). With consistent climate change mitigation (RCP2.6), the average number of tropical nights would be limited to up to 33 per year.

Frost days

Stations

m a.s.l.

Frost days now

Frost days around 2060

RCP2.6

RCP8.5

Locarno / Monti

367

30

13 to 27

6 to 15

Lugano

273

28

12 to 24

5 to 14

Magadino

203

92

65 to 84

44 to 65

Piotta

990

114

90 to 109

75 to 90

Poschiavo / Robbia

1078

140

114 to 134

92 to 117

S. Bernadino

1639

177

150 to 171

131 to 153

‘Frost days now’ represents the actual recorded number of frost days per year, averaged over the normal period of 1981 to 2010. ‘Frost days around 2060’ gives the relevant projections for the period from 2045 to 2074.
Legend

The monitoring location of Piotta in the Leventina has an average of 114 frost days (minimum temperature below 0°C) per year. Without climate change mitigation (RCP8.5), the number of frost days in Piotta is projected to decrease to 75–90 per year by the middle of this century (2060). With consistent climate change mitigation, there will be a smaller reduction in the number of frost days per year, to 90–109.

Days with fresh snowfall

Stations
 

m a.s.l.
 

Days with fresh snowfall now
 

Days with fresh snowfall around 2060

RCP2.6 

RCP8.5 

Locarno / Monti

367

6

0 to 2

0 to 1

Lugano

273

4

0 to 1

0 to 1

Magadino 

203

7

1 to 5

1 to 4

Piotta  

990

24

11 to 21

8 to 18

Poschiavo / Robbia

1078

18

7  to 16 

5 to 11

S. Bernardino

1639

46

27 to 43

20 to 37

‘Days with fresh snowfall now’ represents the actual recorded number of fresh snowfall days per year, averaged over the normal period of 1981 to 2010. Days with fresh snowfall around 2060’ gives the relevant projections for the period from 2045 to 2074.
Legend

At the San Bernardino monitoring station, an average of 46 days with fresh snowfall (minimum of 1 mm of precipitation falling in the form of snow) per year were recorded during the normal period of 1981–2010. Without climate change mitigation (RCP8.5), the number of days with fresh snowfall per year will decrease to 20–37 by the middle of the century (2060). With consistent climate change mitigation (RCP2.6), there will be a smaller reduction in the number of days of fresh snowfall days per year, to 27-43.

Charts

The interactive charts for all indicators use Lugano as an example. You can find the figures for other stations in the CH2018 web Atlas.

Lugano

What do RCP2.6 and RCP8.5 mean? You can find an explanation of the emission scenarios here.

Last modification 11.12.2018

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