Alpine icebox: Switzerland records coldest temperatures of the winter so far

Alpine icebox: Switzerland records coldest temperatures of the winter so far

After starting off the winter as if spring had decided to jump the queue, the weather in Switzerland has finally started to turn the country into an icebox, with the coldest temperatures of the season recorded on the morning of January 13. However, meteorologists have forecast that warmer conditions are expected to take hold by mid-week, albeit only briefly.

January 13: The coldest day of the winter in Switzerland

In a statement, SRF Meteo confirmed that the coldest temperatures of the 2023 / 2024 winter season were recorded on the morning of January 13. The mercury plummeted to as low as minus 34,6 degrees Celsius in the mountains above Lake Brienz at Sägistal, Canton Bern

Frigid temperatures were also reported in inhabited areas, with -25 degrees recorded in La Brévine (Neuchâtel) and -22,8 in Samedan (Graubünden). While conditions in Swiss cities were not as extreme, the colder weather brought with it persistent frost, ice and fog. 

Warmer weather to return to Swiss cities... briefly

Looking ahead, conditions north of the Alps will remain cloudy on Monday, with light snowfall possible in all parts of the country. Sunny but equally cold weather is forecast for Tuesday.

Then, the weather in Switzerland is due to experience a dramatic but brief change. Thanks to a strong foehn, temperatures are expected to shoot up on January 17. Temperatures of between 7 and 10 degrees will arrive in Zurich, Bern, Geneva and Lausanne during the day, with highs of 11 degrees expected in Basel.

However, the change will be short-lived, as frigid conditions are set to return for the rest of the week as the warm wind dies down. There’s good news for those headed to ski resorts on the weekend, with MeteoSwiss forecasting plenty of snow, sunny conditions at higher altitudes and a maximum temperature of one degree. In lower altitude areas, things will remain cold and foggy but with brief spells of sunshine.

Jan de Boer


Jan de Boer

Jan studied in York and Sheffield in the UK, obtaining a master's in broadcast journalism and a bachelor's in history. He has worked as a radio DJ, TV presenter, and...

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