Arctic cold engulfs the country

Video: There are weather alerts in many places across Canada on Monday, with Environment Canada warning of everything from extreme cold and dangerous windchill to freezing rain. and heavy snowfall. Mike Drolet reports.

TORONTO – The cold just won’t let up.

From coast to coast to coast, the cold weather refuses to release its grasp on the country.

Though places to the west of the Rockies are experiencing close to normal daytime highs, east of the Rockies cities are seeing temperatures that are well below normal.

READ MORE: Why extreme weather stops us cold

In Edmonton, Sunday’s high was a mere -14.4 C. It’s normal daytime high is -3 C.

The deep cold is being mostly felt east of Alberta in cities like Saskatoon, Regina, and across Northern Ontario.

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VIDEO: Environment Canada’s David Phillips says this winter has been unlike anything seen in a couple of decades

In Regina, residents woke up to a chilly -36 C, far below its normal low of -23 C. But the biggest difference will be in the daytime high: Tuesday’s forecast calls for a high of just -27 C. The city’s normal daytime high is -11 C.

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The story is much the same in Manitoba and Ontario.

READ MORE: Winnipeg posts second-coldest December since 1893

But what’s making things worse is the expected high winds that are set to make it feel a lot colder.

Wind chill warnings have been issued from Saskatchewan straight through to Ontario and up into Quebec.

READ MORE: Flash freeze, blizzard, wind chill warnings issued across southern Ontario

WATCH: Southern Ontario braces for plunging temperatures on the first day back to school for many. Global’s Jennifer Palisoc reports. 

What’s to blame?

The new phrase in everyone’s vocabulary is ‘polar vortex.’

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Usually Arctic air stays to the north, but in a polar vortex, dense, cold air is pulled down via the jet stream. It’s that polar vortex that is bringing cold temperatures to most of the country and even into the U.S. Midwest.

The good news is that the Arctic air won’t hang around much longer.

Temperatures are expected to rise closer to normal temperatures across the country by the end of the week.

But winter’s not over yet: there will be more cold weather on tap soon enough.

VIDEO: Global’s Chief Meteorologist explains: what exactly is a “polar vortex”?

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