Summer 2022 – Heat At High Elevation

The Breithorn, August 2022

The summer of August 2022 has been particularly hot and dry in the Alps – for the first time in many years, skiing at Klein Matterhorn was suspended in early summer as a result of little to no snow. By the beginning of August, when these images were taken, the temperature was 8 degrees Celsius at 4000m, implying a 0 degree isotherm elevation of well above the tallest of the Alpine peaks. On the Breithorn, patches of bare rock on the summit path are clearly visible.

The Zermatt Valley, from Klein Matterhorn

The lack of summer snow cover at elevation is even more apparent in this image, looking towards Zermatt and the Gornergrat from Klein Matterhorn. Barely any snow or ice cover bar some isolated patches is present.

2022 will no doubt be one of the warmest years in the Alps on record, with warm dry winter followed by an even drier hot summer. Even in January in Grenoble, the 0 degree Isotherm was at 3000m elevation.

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