Cold weather alert issued for next week as temperatures to plunge

Londoners walk past Big Ben in the rainy weather (File picture)  (PA)
Londoners walk past Big Ben in the rainy weather (File picture) (PA)

Health authorities have issued a cold weather alert for next week with temperatures set to plunge as low as -1C.

The UK Health Security Agency (UKHSA) warned that the fall in temperatures could have a “serious impact” on health and urged the public to look out for those vulnerable to cold weather.

All regions of England will see a fall in temperatures and wintry showers from 1am on Monday, according to the Met Office.

The mercury will drop to a low of -1C in London early on Wednesday morning before settling at 5C later in the afternoon.

The capital will also see light rain and winds from Monday through to Thursday.

Dr Agostinho Sousa, Head of Extreme Events and Health Protection at the UK Health Security Agency, said: “During periods like this, it is important to check in check in on family, friends and relatives who may be more vulnerable to the cold weather, as it can have a serious impact on health.

“If you have a pre-existing medical condition or are over the age of 65, it is important to try and heat your home to at least 18°C if you can.’’

Chris Almond, Deputy Chief Meteorologist at the Met Office, said: “Although we’ve moved into meteorological Spring there will be a distinctly wintry feel to our weather next week. Very Cold air will spread across the UK bringing snow showers even to sea level in the north on Monday and these snow showers could spread further south on Tuesday.

“With freezing overnight temperatures and the risk of ice it is likely weather warnings will be issued for Monday and Tuesday once the detail of potential impacts becomes clearer, so keep an eye on the Met Office forecast.”

It follows the driest February in England for 30 years, according to the Met Office.

Just 15.3mm of rain fell, with Bedfordshire, Greater London and Essex all seeing figures to put last month among the top five driest Februarys on record.

Winter was also slightly milder than normal, despite sub-arctic conditions at the start of December, with an average mean temperature of 4.3°C, which is 0.2°C above average.