Sunday at dawn the temperature in Gyergyóalfalu (Romanian: Joseni, German:Unterdorf) hit a monthly low of -20.8 degrees Celsius (-5.44 Fahrenheit), said Ovidiu Câmpean of the regional meteorological office in Nagyszeben/Sibiu. The same night temperatures dropped to -19.3 in Csíkszereda (Miercurea Ciuc) and -15.6 in Maroshévíz/Toplița.
Gyergyóalfalu, whose name includes versions of the word “low” in all its names, is the cold spot of Romania, being situated in the Gyergyó Depression. The depression is also a place which often the exhibits the called “thermal inversion” phenomenon, whereby cooler air gets trapped under an overlying layer of warmer air.
Gyergyóalfalu also holds the county record for February cold with -35 Celsius, measured in 1987, close to the absolute minimum of -38.5 ever registered in Romania.