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Record-breaking cold descends on Switzerland

Temperatures in eastern Switzerland have sunk to record lows as the mercury plummeted to -26.3 degrees Celsius early on Sunday morning.

That beats the coldest temperature recorded so far this season of -24.4 degrees set one month ago in canton Neuchâtel, the Swiss meteorological service has reported.

Canton Ticino in southern Switzerland has also experienced bitter temperatures in recent days. In Magadino meteorologists recorded –11.4 degrees Celsius.

Meteorologists say the frigid temperatures, though record-breaking, often occur this time of year. Statistics show similar December temperatures every second year, they said.

One of the snowiest winters so far on record has left the Alps with snow depths well above average, according to the Institute for Snow and Avalanche Research in Davos.