Swiss Siberia ends July with below-zero night

Caroline Bishop
Caroline Bishop - [email protected]
Swiss Siberia ends July with below-zero night
The village of La Brevine is known as the Siberia of Switzerland. Photo: Caroline Bishop

The hot weather across Switzerland in July may have broken records, but in the early hours of July 31st one village lived up to its frosty reputation when the temperature fell below zero.


The village of La Brévine in the canton of Neuchâtel registered a low of -1.5C (29F) on Friday morning during a cloudless night, reported SRF Meteo.

The high valley village is no stranger to freakishly cold temperatures. It’s known as the ‘Siberia of Switzerland’ due to holding the record for Switzerland’s lowest ever temperature, of -41.8C, recorded in 1987.

La Brévine's geographical position and topography cause colder air to become trapped in the bottom of the valley, often leading to below average temperatures.

July’s unusually cold night comes after a month of soaring temperatures, with many places in Switzerland seeing averages five degrees hotter than normal.

According to MeteoNews, July 2015 has been one of the country’s all-time top three hottest months in recorded history.

The heatwave was due to persistent high pressure over central Europe, called the Omega block due to its resemblance to the shape of the Greek letter, said the country's meteorological office.  

On July 7th the mercury reached 39.7C in Geneva, beating the area’s previous record of 38.9C, recorded in 1921.

Bern, Fribourg, Neuchâtel, Sion, Davos and Engelberg also experienced record highs, with Sion registering a record 15 consecutive days of hot weather.

Even the nights were hot; the town of Locarno in the canton of Ticino counted 22 nights above 20C.

Though rain is expected to put a damper on August 1st, Swiss national day, sunshine and high temperatures are expected to return next week.


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