Warm winds and largely clear skies saw temperatures climb to unseasonable highs in Switzerland over the Christmas weekend.
A weather station in the southern Ticino region of the country recorded 20.9° celsius (69.6°F) on Sunday, the highest temperature in 40 years according to the private Meteonews service.
Other stations in Valais and in Graubünden, bordering Italy, temperatures reached around 12°-15°C. In lower lying regions north of the Alps it was up to 9°C.
Experts say white Christmas has become a rare occurrence in most parts of Switzerland over the past few years.
There is little hope that snow in the final week of the year. Mountain regions may expect some snow at the beginning of January at the earliest.
Many low-lying ski slopes were closed due to the mild weather and a lack of snow. The upside was that mountain rescue services had a relatively quiet weekend. The Swiss News Agency said the non-profit Swiss Air Rescue, - commonly known as Rega - , flew only a handful of missions to help victims of skiing accidents over the past three days.
swissinfo.ch with agencies/ug