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Cold weather warning as temperatures plunge across UK after warmest ever new year
3 January 2022, 17:09 | Updated: 3 January 2022, 21:21
The mercury is set to plunge across the UK as freezing conditions replace the record-breaking mild weather over Christmas and the new year.
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A cold weather alert is in place for most of northern England, with severe icy conditions and potentially heavy snow from midnight on Tuesday into lunchtime on Thursday.
There are also snow, ice and wind warnings in parts of northern Scotland in the coming days.
It comes after warm winds from the mid-Atlantic meant temperatures hovered around the 16C mark in parts of the UK at the turn of the year, making it the warmest New Year's Eve and New Year's Day on record.
Met Office chief meteorologist Neil Armstrong said: "Following an exceptionally mild spell, temperatures are set to drop for many in the north of England from late on Monday and into Tuesday.
"This drop in temperatures will spread further south later on Tuesday.
"This change is being brought on by a cold northerly flow, which brings with it the risk of some wintry showers in places in northern England, especially over high ground.
Turning increasingly #icy across #Scotland this evening with #snow showers 🌨️— Met Office (@metoffice) January 3, 2022
Rain and hill snow slowly moving south into northern England and Wales 🌧️
Cloudy and damp elsewhere ☁️ pic.twitter.com/eHRpIbLyYY
"Minimum temperatures over the next few days are expected to drop below freezing, heightening the risk of some ice formation."
The UK Health Security Agency urged people to check on vulnerable members of the public in the coming days, including the elderly and those with serious illness.
UKHSA consultant Agostinho Sousa said: "Cold weather can have a serious impact on health, particularly for older people and those with heart and lung problems, as it increases the risks of heart attacks, strokes and chest infections."
Temperatures are forecast to dip to -1C in London on Wednesday night, as well as 0C in Belfast, 1C in Cardiff, and -3C in Edinburgh.