Three years ago, Meteomedia, the partner providing weather information on the Zermatt Tourism website, found out that the Zermatt-Gornergrat-Klein Matterhorn area is actually the sunniest corner of Switzerland. “We realised years ago that the position of the sensors is crucial”, says Jörg Kachelmann, meteorologist and founder of Meteomedia. In the past, weather stations were located in the valley and the shadows of the mountains, as well as other factors, were distorting the statistics. Jörg Kachelmann therefore made sure that the Meteomedia stations were set up in the mountains, which promptly led to better statistics in the Zermatt region.
Special climate around Zermatt
The average sunshine hours have now also been recorded by MeteoSchweiz and have been published in an article in the Neue Zürcher Zeitung (in german). MeteoSchweiz is the weather service of the Swiss Confederation that also supplies meteorological data to Swiss broadcasting and TV. With an average sunshine duration of 62 per cent per year, the Zermatt-Matterhorn region has now been promoted to the top position in the MeteoSchweiz statistics, outperforming even Ticino with 55 per cent and Engadine with 56 per cent. “Since the surrounding 4,000-metre peaks largely keep precipitation clouds away, Zermatt is blessed with a very special climate”, explains Jörg Kachelmann. A lot of sun also means dry weather.
This special climate gives Zermatt a number of key advantages: Dry weather makes the area well suited for Alpine sports, both in summer and in winter. Although precipitation is low, it mostly falls in the form of snow. At the heights surrounding Zermatt, snow is therefore guaranteed all year round. And there is a nice side effect: at around 2,400 and 2,500 metres, the forest line is the highest in Switzerland.