One year after giving Winnipeg a warm embrace, Mother Nature has turned a bitterly cold shoulder to the city.

The morning temperature on Thursday, as many people scraped the frost from their car windows, was –21 C with a wind chill that made it feel more like –31.

Now, take a deep breath, find an inner calm and try not to scream when you read the next line:

On this day last year, Winnipeg was 18.8 C. That's a 40-degree swing!

It was the warmest day in a month of above-normal temperatures. Winnipeg was in a genuine autumn heat wave with 11 days hitting double-digit highs.

In fact, the coldest day was just –1.2 C on Nov. 19.

By the time November 2016 came to an end, it was the hottest one ever documented in Winnipeg's record books, which go back to 1872.

One year later, we're setting record low temperatures instead.

According to Environment Canada meteorologist Natalie Hasell, the overnight low in Winnipeg on Wednesday night was –23.7 C. The old record, set in 1966, was –20.6 C.

Brandon dropped to –25 C overnight, matching the 1966 record for that city.

"These are temperatures we normally see in January," Hasell said.

While you wrap your mitten hands around a cup of hot coffee today, you can take some solace in knowing we're not alone.

Cold Winnipeg

Thursday was one for parkas and fur-lined hoods in Winnipeg. (Darren Bernhardt/CBC)

"It's been cold everywhere in the Prairies," Hasell said, attributing the cold blast to "an early arctic ridge of high pressure" pushed down by north winds and sitting across Alberta, Saskatchewan and Manitoba.

There are some who welcome the frosty weather, however. 

Crews at The Forks have started prepping for the skating trail that runs through the site, while Stony Mountain Ski Area north of Winnipeg has started its snowmaking operations for the season.

Water for skating rink

Water is sprayed down for the skating rink near the Scotiabank Stage at The Forks. (Tyson Koschik/CBC)

"This is the earliest we have ever started snowmaking operations in 29 years," stated a news release.

Stony Mountain is tentatively scheduled to open for the season on Dec. 2nd but "that date might be bumped up."

CBC meteorologist John Sauder expects the temperature in Winnipeg on Wednesday to only reach as high as –9 C.

But there could be some relief down the road, perhaps by next Tuesday. Sauder's forecast calls for the mercury to actually climb above the freezing mark with a high of 2 C.

That will likely be appreciated by the City of Winnipeg, which has already spent $1.2 million clearing the early November snowfall. 

Normal temperatures for this time of year are a daytime high of 0 C and an overnight low of –8 C.