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Extreme cold warning issued for much of Alberta

WATCH ABOVE: Only a few days of this cold weather! Here's Mike Sobel's Thursday, January 11, 2018 early morning weather forecast for Edmonton, Alberta and the surrounding area.

Environment Canada issued an extreme cold warning on Wednesday afternoon for most of Alberta.

Extremely cold conditions will occur through the overnight.

“An arctic air mass returns Wednesday, plummeting temperatures in Alberta,” Global Edmonton chief meteorologist Jesse Beyer said.

“Clear skies are expected with a cold, dense and dry arctic air for the next few nights,” he added.

Winds between 10 and 15 km/h will combine with cold temperatures to produce wind chill values of -40 or colder. Beyer expects the windchill in Edmonton to feel like anywhere between -30 C and -40 C.

The conditions are expected to last until this weekend.

Edmonton’s new funicular was shut down on Wednesday. The city said it was closed from 11 a.m. until 5 p.m. for monthly scheduled maintenance and, because of the extreme cold, was kept shut down for the rest of the day.

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“The city is still learning how the funicular responds in cold weather so, for the time being, staff are on site and are able to respond as necessary if there are any issues,” city spokesperson Debi Winwood said in an email to Global News on Thursday.

READ MORE: Calgary weather: extreme cold warning ended, temperatures set to rise on weekend

On Wednesday night, some school boards east of Edmonton said school bus service was being cancelled for Thursday because of the extreme cold.

Elk Island Public Schools said all buses were being cancelled for Thursday, however, schools were open and classes went ahead. All buses were cancelled for Friday as well. Schools will be open.

St. Paul Education Regional Division No. 1 said rural buses would not be running on Thursday although “in-town buses” would operate. Schools in that division will be open. On Thursday evening, the school division said rural buses would not be running again on Friday because of the extreme windchill.

South of Edmonton, Wolf Creek Public Schools said it will not run buses on Thursday and all of its schools will be closed as well, “with the exception of high schools with scheduled English 30-1 and 30-2 (Part A) diploma exams.

“These students are expected to make a reasonable effort to attend and write their diploma exam,” the school board said in a news release. “Students are reminded to maintain their personal safety considering the weather conditions.”

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North of Edmonton, Aspen View Public Schools said Thursday night that all buses for all schools in its division will not be running on Friday but all schools will be open and diploma exams will proceed as scheduled.

Environment Canada urges everyone to bundle up during such an extreme cold snap, saying frostbite can develop within minutes on exposed skin.

Cold-related symptoms include shortness of breath, chest pain, muscle pain and weakness, numbness and colour change in fingers and toes.

-With files from Phil Heidenreich

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