If you feel that this year's temperatures are lower than normal, you're right. An extreme cold warning is in effect for much of Southern Alberta this week, thanks to a frigid Arctic air that's made its way south.

Dan Kulak is a Meteorologist with Environment and Climate Change Canada in Edmonton.

"The Arctic air certainly moved across the prairies over the last few days over the Christmas period and we went from a very mild early part of December here in the wintertime to very much below normal temperatures for the latter part of the month to close off the year."

During an extreme cold warning, people should watch for cold-related symptoms including shortness of breath, chest pain, muscle pain and weakness, numbness and colour change in fingers and toes because of the increased risk of frost bite and hypothermia.

Although temperatures are lower than average, Kulak says we should listen to anyone who tells us they've experienced colder weather.

"No record [was] set in the Drumheller area in the last few days, but we are close," said Kulak. "The records are in the -32 to -38 range basically, and we had temperatures about four degrees warmer than the record. So, it was cold, but not quite record-setting cold."

The record low for Dec. 28 was set in 1996. The mercury that day fell to a glacial -40.2.

Unfortunately for us all, we're in for at least another week of double-digit negative temperatures.

"There's no Chinooks in the next number of days for Alberta," explained Kulak. "The next week or so for Drumheller is going to bring continued cold weather up until New Year's. [On] New Year's Eve, [we're] looking for a of high of -14, so that's a moderation of what we're getting right now."

Temperatures are expected to return to normal in early January.

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