A Siberian freeze has descended over Switzerland since Monday and is forecast to stay until Wednesday, with temperatures in the lowlands reaching -16 degrees Celsius (3.2 degrees Fahrenheit). A powerful wind means the “real feel” temperature is even lower.
The mercury will barely rise above -5 degrees over the next few days. At 2,000 metres above sea level the temperatures are expected to be around -17 degrees.
The cold spell is unusual but not extraordinary. It’s caused by a cold front coming from Siberia, which this year has reached Switzerland. A similar situation occurred in 2005.
On the Corvatsch mountain near St Moritz in eastern Switzerland, the thermometer fell to -30.9 degrees, according to Meteonewsexternal link. The chilliest place on Monday night was on the Glattalp in canton Schwyz, which recorded -38 degrees. Given the exposed location, such low temperatures are seen – and felt – every three to five years.
And nature has left behind some spectacular ice sculptures in the French-speaking region of Switzerland:
(All images: Keystone; text: swissinfo.ch/SDA-ATS)