Baby, it's cold outside

Benches covered in icicles were a sight to behold for photographers on Tuesday, after strong winds swept over Lake Leman in Versoix, Geneva.

Earlier in the week, French-speaking Switzerland was hit by a stormy, icy wind that blew at speeds from more than 90kmh at Lake Geneva to 140 kmh in some places. Under the polar temperatures, icicles formed around the lake, drawing amateur photographers willing to brave the conditions.

The bad weather has also spurred Swiss resorts to lower their prices, offering discount ski passes. So far, at least two ski resorts have become the first in Europe to reduce prices on day-lift passes if bad weather occurs.

They include Pizol in St Gallen and Belalp in Valais, which are offering the world's first weather- dependent dynamic pricing system under a partnership with St Gallen University of Applied Sciences (FHS) and meteorological agency SRF Meteo.

Under the system, a forecast of cloudy skies with intermittent snow reduces prices by 38 per cent. Prices can be cut by up to 50 per cent in worse weather.

The pricing system, which was developed by FHS, will be on trial for two seasons.

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on January 19, 2017, with the headline 'Baby, it's cold outside'. Print Edition | Subscribe