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Alps surprised by early snowfall, Swiss town sees new record

Parts of Austria and Switzerland were surprised by unseasonably early snowfall overnight, after a sharp drop in temperatures and heavy precipitation.

The Swiss meteorological agency said Saturday that the town of Montana, in the southern canton (state) of Valais, experienced 25 centimeters (almost 10 inches) of snowfall — a new record for this time of year.

Authorities were out in force across mountainous regions in the two Alpine nations to clear roads blocked by snow and ice.

In parts of Austria, snowfall was recorded as low as 550 meters (1,805 feet) above sea level.