Icy bise wind causes travel chaos in western Switzerland
Winds of up to 140km/hr brought already chilly temperatures down even further in French-speaking Switzerland on Tuesday, disrupting trains and traffic and causing ferry services on Lake Geneva to be cancelled.
Gusts of 93km/hr were recorded in Nyon and 87km/hr in Geneva, with temperatures of around -10C making it feel especially Siberian. But that was nothing on La Dôle in the Jura, which registered 142km/hr and -30C, according to MeteoNews.
The conditions created problems for road, rail and lake travel.
Snowdrifts brought traffic to a standstill on the A1 motorway between Aubonne and Rolle on Tuesday afternoon, with police having to employ de-icing machines to free up the roads, reported news agencies.
Trains between Lucerne and Geneva airport, as well as some local services, were cancelled towards the end of the day after the rails froze.
And the Compagnie Générale de Navigation (CGN), which operates ferries on Lake Geneva across to France, cancelled three of its commuter services early on Wednesday morning citing ice and strong winds.
One canny tweeter, who describes himself as a social media specialist from Lausanne, took advantage of the situation to poke fun at the controversial burqa posters launched last week against the facilitated naturalization of third generation foreigners.
The bise, which did not affect German-speaking parts of the country nearly so much, is likely to weaken on Wednesday, though it won't be until Wednesday night and Thursday morning that the wind is expected to die down to a more manageable 40km/hr, said MeteoNews.
Temperatures will remain below zero across Switzerland for the rest of the week.