After some balmy temperatures and days to start the new year, more traditional Saskatchewan weather has moved in for the third week of January. Cold days and even colder nights with bitter winds is the theme for the weather this week.

Amanda Prysizney is with Environment Canada and chalks up the sudden blast of Arctic air to a high-pressure ridge that has moved in.

"There was a low-pressure system that developed in northern Alberta that swept across the central prairies on Monday, in its wake a ridge of high pressure built in from the north. So what means is clear skies, winds from the north and it brings in the cold arctic air southward down into the prairies," Prysizney explained. 

The short-term forecast isn't showing any let-up and even some snow could be mixed in with the harsh conditions. While this winter has seen its fair share of hot-and-cold weather cycles, the week-long blast of winter weather seems rather unusual — although it shouldn't be, given the nature of prairie winters.

Prysizney says we may have to bundle up for a few more days yet.

"We are expecting these conditions to continue into the weekend," she said. "There might be a bit of reprieve of temperatures possibly by Sunday, or early next week. But, for the next four days or so we're looking at these cold temperatures and wind chills."

The operational meteorologist says people might have been caught off-guard by just how cold the wind is, even when it appears sunny outside. We have been spoiled a bit this winter by above-seasonal temperatures for stretches at a time.

"Because it is such a dramatic change people were hopefully aware of the upcoming cold temperatures and took precaution. Dressing accordingly, plugging in the car, having an emergency kit in your car and all that stuff to prepare for this cold weather."

It appears our prairie mettle will be tested for the next few days with some brutal wind chills. However, it's nothing we can't handle, right?

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