If you woke up in Switzerland on Friday morning to find temperatures of -10 C, then you are living somewhere relatively warm.
Only one of the places in Meteo Centrale’s top 20 coldest sits at more than 2,000 metres above sea level. The Julierpass at 2,284 m, with a low of -20.5 C, was the highest but only the 12th coldest. Many of the coldest places are towns with shivering inhabitants living at much lower altitudes.
Three towns on the list sit at altitudes of around 1,000 metres: La Brévine (1,050 metres), Les Ponts-de-Martel (998 metres) and Rothenthurm-Mösli (914 metres). On Thursday night these towns froze. La Brévine, in the Canton of Neuchâtel reached a low of -26.4 C. Les Ponts-de-Martel, also in Neuchatel saw the temperature drop to -24.5 C, and in Rothenthurm-Mösli, in the canton of Schwyz, it reached -25.2 C. The coldest place on the list was the uninhabited weather station of Glattalp (1,858 m), in canton Schwyz, with -33.2 C.
Since Thursday, air from the arctic has sent temperatures plummeting across Switzerland, bringing negative temperatures to most Swiss cities. Temperatures in Bern (-15.5) and Zurich (-14.9) were particularly low early on Friday morning.
According to Meteo Swiss, on 12 January 1987 La Brévine broke the record for the lowest Swiss temperature ever: – 41.8 C.
Altitude and latitude aren’t enough to predict temperatures across the elaborate topographical mosaic of Switzerland.