The southeast has been covered under a blanket of extreme cold this week, with that spreading across the provinces and even as far down as the southern states.

Extreme cold warnings have been in effect, often joined by falling snow that's soon blown around by harsh winds.

But those conditions are expected to ease up miraculously on Christmas day, with a 20-degree shift in temperatures being forecast.

Environment Canada Meteorologist Danielle Desjardins says that the change will be preceded by some tough conditions.

"It looks like only daytime highs in the high minus 20s, with wind chill values in the minus 40s for the next few days, through to Christmas eve. However, we are going to start seeing a warm-up for Christmas morning."

Previously Friday was the expected end of the cold freeze, but the cold is now continuing through that.

While it may worry some that a cold Christmas is incoming, Desjardins says they're confident in the current forecast.

"It looks like that will be the end to the extension of the extreme cold. Of course, the ending of these cold snaps is sometimes hard to predict and can be off by a day, but as we get closer we have a lot higher confidence in the end of these things."

Some snow will also be accompanying the warmer weather, with any worries of freezing rain from the warmer temperatures not likely in the southeast.

"It looks like for the southeast area it will stay below zero and without risk of freezing rain. However, just to the west, especially in southwestern Saskatchewan and portions of Alberta, it does look like there's a chance of freezing rain, so definitely keep an eye on the forecast."

The warm weather is expected to last at least until the end of 2022.