The new record was set at Litworowy Kocioł, a cirque in the Western Tatras, which struggled with below freezing temperatures for four days in a row.
The Tatra’s previous lowest temperature readout was a chilly minus 5.5°C reported in 1996 at Hala Izerska, an Alpine tundra meadow in the Izera Mountains in the Western Sudetes on the border between Poland and the Czech Republic.
“The phenomenon of extremely low temperatures at Litworowy Kocioł during heat waves actually applies to the entire massif of Czerwone Wierchy in the Western Tatras, and is due to the combination of the formation of post-glacial cirques with karst phenomena,” researcher Kamil Filipowski of the Adam Mickiewicz University in Poznań was quoted as saying by scienceinpoland.pl.
“There are many similar places in the Alps. In the Tatra Mountains, it is a unique massif. Water escapes through the underground crevice system and instead of lakes, we have dry cirques, where cold air can accumulate, Filipowski added.
In his opinion, further record cold temperatures are expected.
The Adam Mickiewicz University researchers now expect to be able to record all-time low mercury drops in winter.
The current Polish coldest temperature, minus 40.6°C, was recorded in the southern town of Żywiec in 1929.