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Warm day, temperature to plunge tonight

Enjoy it while you can.

The "Christmas miracle" of beautful warm weather the past few days will come to a close today. Environment Canada has issued a special weather statement warning of the dramatic change in the forecast, which promises an ultra-chilly weekend and Arctic temperatures through New Year's.

For today, though, the forecast is pretty nice. At -2ºC this morning, temperature will rise to about 0ºC near noon, before cooler air starts to flow in this afternoon. Temperatures will fall through the afternoon to about -7ºC.

That's the leading edge of a low pressure system that is tracking through southern Saskatchewan tonight and into North Dakota by Saaturday morning. Forecasters say that they expect 5–10 cm of snow to fall across much of southern Manitoba, with snow expected to start in Brandon around midnight.

The highest amount of snow is expected in a line stretching from Dauphin to Pinawa. Brandon could see lower amounts, but the exact track of the storm will affect localized blizzard conditions. Winds will pick up tonight, becoming 40 km/h, with gusts up to 60 km/h from the northeast, as the low overnight drops to -18ºC.

The worst blizzard conditions are expected further east, in the Red River Valley, but the storm will also bring an Arctic mass of bitterly cold temperatures Saturday behind the system.

Temperatures will be falling through the day Saturday to -24ºC by Saturday afternoon then -32ºC by Saturday night.

Sunday should see sunny skies, and a high of -27ºC, as the bitterly cold airmass settles in. It's expected to persist for several days, into at least New Year's Day.

Sunny skies are forecast for Monday through Thursday next week, with highs generally around -27ºC throughough, although they moderate slightly to about -23ºC by Thursday.

The normal high for this time of year is -12ºC; the normal low is -22ºC.

The coldest it's ever been on this date was in 1950, when it was -36.1ºC. The warmest ever was in 1980, when it was 6.3ºC.

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