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Welcome back to winter

Yesterday may have felt like spring, with a daytime high that hit 2.1ºC, but today has plunged right back into winter — and Environment Canada says that the unseasonably cold temperatures will persist for the remainder of the year.

Brandon woke up to a wind chill warning and a blowing snow warning, as well as temperatures that were at -20ºC and expected to continue to fall through the day. There wasn't much new snow, but there was enough that gusty winds dropped visibility to less than one kilometre.

Environment Canada says that this is the start of a multi-day freeze as an Alberta clipper tracks through North Dakota, pulling Arctic air in behind it.

Snow should end this afternoon, with about 2 cm expected, but northeast winds of 40 km/h, gusting to 60 km/h, are impeding visibility on the highways.

The wind should drop to about 20 km/h from the north around noon, but temperatures will continue to drop, too, dipping to -25ºC this afternoon.

Clearing skies are expected tonight, as temperatures continue to fall, down to a low of -35ºC overnight. If that temperature is reached before midnight, it will set a record for the day. Northerly winds will push the wind chill into extreme values of -46. At that rate of chill, frostbite on exposed skin can occur in less than 10 minutes.

Sunny skies tomorrow will not have any heat in them at all, with a daytime high of -24ºC. Westerly winds at 20 km/h tomorrow will at times push the wind chill to -48.

All next week will be sunny and cold, starting Monday with a high of -25ºC.

New Year's Eve will close out the year with the coldest day of 2013. The forecast high is just -29ºC, and temperatures are expected to get to -35ºC that night.

New Year's Day won't be much better, with a high of -26ºC.

Things may improve slightly by Thursday, which will see a high of-18ºC.

At this point, a few clouds are predicted for Friday, with seasonal temperatures around -11ºC.

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 1992, when it was -32.8ºC. The warmest ever was in 1999, when it rose to 6.1ºC.

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