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‘Industrial snow' gives Swiss village very own white Christmas

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‘Industrial snow' gives  Swiss village very own white Christmas
File photo: Phil Roeder
12:00 CET+01:00
A white Christmas looks unlikely in low altitude parts of the country – apart from one village where an unusual weather phenomenon has blanketed the place in snow.

The village of Gerlafingen is only at 450m altitude. But while its neighbouring villages are still green, Gerlafingen has been covered in snow for the past two weeks, according to daily Blick.

The reason? Probably “industrial snow,” an extremely rare weather phenomenon, explained MeteoNews meteorologist Nicola Möckli.

Speaking to the paper Möckli said snow can form under certain conditions if industrial chimneys are present in an area.

If temperatures are low, soot particles produce condensation that then turns to snow.

Gerlafingen and the surrounding area is home to a number of factories including a steelworks.

This “industrial snow” is finer and more slimy than regular snow, added the paper, making roads more slippery.

According to meteorologists the chance of a white Christmas across most low-lying parts of the country is slim.

In recent weeks high pressure over Switzerland has kept temperatures low but prevented rain clouds from building up.

A few flurries arrived at higher altitude in the night of Sunday to Monday, but the snow is unlikely to last.

Source: MeteoSuisse

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