EGU24-11496, updated on 09 Mar 2024
EGU General Assembly 2024
© Author(s) 2024. This work is distributed under
the Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 License.

Sub-seasonal prediction of heat-related mortality in Switzerland

Daniela I.V. Domeisen2,1, Maria Pyrina1,2, Dominik Büeler1,3, Ana M. Vicedo-Cabrera4,5, Sidharth Sivaraj4,5, Adel Imamovic6, Christoph Spirig6, and Lionel Moret6
Daniela I.V. Domeisen et al.
  • 1Institute for Atmospheric and Climate Science, ETH Zürich, Switzerland
  • 2Université de Lausanne, Switzerland
  • 3Center for Climate Systems Modeling (C2SM), Switzerland
  • 4Institute of Social and Preventive Medicine, University of Bern, Switzerland
  • 5Oeschger Center for Climate Change Research, University of Bern, Switzerland
  • 6Federal Office of Meteorology and Climatology MeteoSwiss, Switzerland

Heatwaves have various impacts on human health, including an increase in premature mortality. The summers of 2018 and 2022 are two prominent examples with record-breaking temperatures leading to thousands of excess deaths in Europe. Nevertheless, there is a limited assessment of the potential for heat-health warning systems on timescales up to several weeks ahead at a regional level. This study combines methods of climate epidemiology and sub-seasonal forecasting to predict the expected heat-related mortality for two regions in Switzerland during the summers of 2018 and 2022. The sub-seasonal forecasts were first downscaled to a 2km-by-2km grid using a quantile mapping approach. The statistical heat-mortality relationship for the Swiss cantons of Zurich and Geneva between 1990 and 2017 was estimated in a two-stage time-series analysis using observed daily temperature and mortality. Then, heat-related mortality in the summers of 2018 and 2022 was calculated using the estimated heat-mortality relationship and the observed total mortality and temperature. The resulting estimated heat-related mortality was subsequently compared with the predicted heat-related mortality based on sub-seasonal temperature forecasts. Preliminary results show that we can successfully predict short-term heat-related mortality peaks for lead times up to 2 weeks, while longer periods of heat-related mortality can be anticipated by lead week 3 and even lead week 4 forecasts. Our findings demonstrate that sub-seasonal forecasts can be a valuable tool for estimating and potentially issuing warnings for the excess health burden observed during central European summers.

How to cite: Domeisen, D. I. V., Pyrina, M., Büeler, D., Vicedo-Cabrera, A. M., Sivaraj, S., Imamovic, A., Spirig, C., and Moret, L.: Sub-seasonal prediction of heat-related mortality in Switzerland, EGU General Assembly 2024, Vienna, Austria, 14–19 Apr 2024, EGU24-11496,, 2024.