Southern Alberta is about to be plunged into the kind of frigid temperatures it has avoided so far this winter.

In Foothills County, temperatures are expected to drop below -10 on Sunday, and even further heading into next week.

Environment Canada Meteorologist Justin Shelley says it's due to cold air drifting south toward us.

"We have a cold air mass in the north, there are extreme cold warnings in Northwest Territories, and that air mass is slowly going to sink further and further south as we head into the weekend and early next week."

This weekend will also bring some snow.

"We are expecting a bit of snow as well over the weekend. We are tracking a system that's going to make its way through Foothills County starting on Saturday and persisting into Sunday evening. We are going to get a bit of an upslope component to that snow, so we might have some higher localized amounts, but generally speaking, we're looking at 5-15 centimetres with that system over the weekend," says Shelley.

Unfortunately, that cold will be sticking around into next week.

The temperature is expected to bounce up closer to zero on Monday before diving back down, with temperatures closer to -20 expected by mid-week.

Shelley says it's a little far out to say for sure, but the cold snap could come to an end after next weekend.

"That colder air mass is really going to sink its teeth into parts of Southern Alberta by the middle of next week lasting through the end of the week into the weekend. There are some indications of temperatures moderating after that weekend, but there's less consistency in the models after that point. It looks like a decent cold snap for Foothills County."

Early indications show expected daytime temperatures in the low -20s on the weekend of Jan. 13.