Britain braced for snow with severe cold weather alert issued as people urged to heat homes to at least 18C

5 December 2022, 09:04 | Updated: 5 December 2022, 16:01

A level three alert for cold weather has been issued for England
A level three alert for cold weather has been issued for England. Picture: Alamy

By Asher McShane

A severe cold weather alert has been issued for England, with the Met Office warning of a 90% chance of ‘severe cold weather and icy conditions’ between now and next Monday.

People are being told to “look out for friends and family who may be vulnerable to the cold, and ensure they have access to warm food and drinks’ and are ‘managing to heat their homes adequately’.

The Met Office warned the weather could increase health risks to the vulnerable and “disrupt the delivery of services.”

Temperatures are predicted to plummet as low as -6C with frosts, ice and snow showers forecast.

The level three alert for cold weather is one level below the highest level, a national emergency.

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Met Office warns of snow to come

The Met Office warning for ‘severe weather action’ states: “Rather cold conditions are expected to turn colder across much of the UK later Wednesday and through Thursday as air from the Arctic spreads south across the country.

“Very cold nights are expected, with widespread frosts and potentially severe frosts.

“Daytime temperatures persisting near or just above freezing, with overnight temperatures continuing to trend downwards.

“Wintry showers are also likely to affect some coasts, perhaps pushing into some inland areas at times, bringing a risk of icy patches.”

People in the affected area are urged to look out for friends and family, try to maintain indoor temperatures of at least 18C, particularly for those who are immobile, have long-term illness or are aged 65 or over.

“Avoid exposing yourself to cold or icy outdoor conditions if you are at higher risk of cold-related illness or falls,” the alert states.

There is already a yellow weather alert in place for the northern part of Scotland.

The RAC has advised motorists to check their vehicles are "winter ready", with properly inflated tyres that have good tread.

Rod Dennis, RAC spokesperson, said: "With temperatures plummeting this week, many drivers might be taken aback by the cold after an exceptionally mild autumn.

"Drivers with older batteries in their cars might also wish to give their vehicle a 20-minute drive before colder conditions arrive to ensure the battery can cope with sub-zero temperatures."

The Met Office's cold weather alert system operates in England from November 1 to March 31, every year, in association with the UK Health Security Agency (UKHSA).

The system comprises five levels of response based on cold weather thresholds which are designed to trigger an alert when severe cold weather is likely to significantly affect people's health.

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