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A white Christmas for southern Switzerland

The southern village of Carnago under a fresh blanket of snow

(Keystone)

For the first time in seven years, residents in the Italian-speaking canton of Ticino enjoyed a white Christmas on Monday. Five to 10 centimetres of snow fell late on Sunday night, leaving Lugano under a blanket of white.

But in northern Switzerland, where thousands of tourists have arrived to enjoy the start of the ski season, officials in resorts and chalet owners are hoping for the snow to reach them before the end of the year.

Unseasonably warm temperatures this year have left many low-lying parts of northern Switzerland without any snow since November.

Many of the alpine resorts at a higher altitude, however, are enjoying good snow conditions.

The Bernese Oberland Tourism office said that the lack of snowfall in the north has not yet caused any real problems for resorts. But, it said that if the warm temperatures persist into January, they expect to see fewer tourists coming to ski.

Weather services, however, are predicting that the northern alpine regions could see some snowfall later this week.

swissinfo with agencies


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