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Temperatures in Switzerland plummet to -27C

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The Local ([email protected])
Temperatures in Switzerland plummet to -27C
Local residents walk in the snow in Geneva on December 9, 2022. (Photo by FABRICE COFFRINI / AFP)

Winter has well and truly hit Switzerland, as temperatures drop to extreme lows across the country.

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Over the weekend, parts of Switzerland were coated with a dusting of snow. 

And in the early hours of Monday, the winter freeze continued as meteorologists reported shockingly low temperatures. 

Statistically, La Brévine in the Neuchâtel Canton is usually the coldest place in Switzerland. But on Sunday night it snagged third place. The mercury dropped to -25.3C in this area, according to weather experts at Meteonews. 

The coldest temperature overnight was logged on the Ofen Pass in the canton of Graubünden. The mercury there dipped to -27C. In Samedan, also in Graubünden, the mercury was -26.2C, according to Meteonews.

"Last night was indeed cold and also very unusual after the mild winter of 2021/22," Meteonews said. However, the experts added that the temperatures did not break records. 

La Brévine, with a population of 630, is famous for being the site of the lowest temperature ever recorded in Switzerland. An absolute baltic -41.8C was recorded there back in January 1987. 

The village in the Swiss Jura experiences such cold because it sits at the bottom of a high altitude valley, at 1,045m. Under certain conditions the cold gets trapped. 

The current freeze is down to a blast of arctic air hanging over Switzerland, according to SRF Meteo.

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What's the weather like in the coming days?

Although it will remain very chilly on Monday, it's expected to get slightly milder in the coming week.

"Tomorrow (Tuesday) a low pressure system over the Bay of Biscay will direct a warm front towards us," said SRF Meteo. "On Wednesday and Thursday, a thaw is expected, with the snow line rising above 1500 metres. After that, it will get colder again, at least temporarily."

Friday is set to be mostly cloudy and wet. In some areas, the rain could turn to snow. 

Those looking for sunshine will find it mainly at higher altitudes.

"Currently, it looks like a high pressure system will reach us at the weekend," said SRF Meteo. "This will bring sunshine in the mountains and high fog in the lowlands."

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