Snow warnings end, but extreme cold gripping Alberta's northern reaches

Time to hunker down and bundle up.

Some communities in northern Alberta are under weather warnings because of a cold arctic air mass bringing extreme cold temperatures.

But warnings issued by Environment Canada earlier Wednesday about heavy snow expected Thursday were lifted mid-afternoon.

As of 4 p.m. Wednesday, extreme cold warnings were in effect for Fort Chipewyan-Wood Buffalo National Park, Fort McMurray-Fort MacKay and the High Level-Rainbow Lake-Fort Vermilion-Mackenzie Highway region.

Nathan Denette/Canadian Press

The biting wind will make it feel like -40 C to -50 C overnight and through the early morning hours, Environment Canada warned.

"Cloud cover to the south and west of High Level and Fort McMurray should keep the temperatures warmer and the wind chill above –40, but clear skies to the north and east of High Level and Fort McMurray will give much colder temperatures and wind chills," one of the warnings said.

"Watch for cold related symptoms: shortness of breath, chest pain, muscle pain and weakness, numbness and colour change in fingers and toes."