London set to feel like -5C during rush-hour as Met Office issues five-day cold weather alert

Temperatures are expected to plunge to below freezing in England by the middle of the week (Jeremy Selwyn)
Temperatures are expected to plunge to below freezing in England by the middle of the week (Jeremy Selwyn)

The Met Office has issued a five-day cold weather alert, warning the UK is to be hit by a severely cold spell.

Temperatures are expected to plunge to below freezing in England by the middle of the week, reaching -6C in some areas.

The low temperature warning has led the UK Health Security Agency to issue its own alert.

It said there could be “serious consequences” and urged people to take steps to keep warm.

In London, the Met Office predicts temperatures will hit -3C on Thursday and Friday, and remain sub-zero for the rest of the week. According to the Met Office, the temperature in the capital will feel as cold as -4C or -5C during morning rush-hour on Thursday and Friday.

The Met Office has now triggered a level three – or amber – cold weather alert warning of severe conditions in England between 6pm Wednesday and 9am on Monday, December 12.

The alert means the cold weather could increase health risks to vulnerable people and it requires social and healthcare services to take action to protect high-risk groups.

The Met Office said air from the Arctic will spread south across the country from late Wednesday with very cold nights expected as well as frosts.

Wintry showers are also likely to be seen in coastal areas, bringing risks of icy patches on roads.

Meanwhile, there is a yellow warning of snow in place for Scotland for Wednesday, which forecasters advise could cause disruption to road, bus and train journeys.

Winds which are currently blowing from the east are expected to shift to the north bringing an Arctic chill to the country and below-average temperatures for the time of year.

On Sunday, Met Office meteorologist Alex Burkill said: “It looks like the cold is going to be very widespread, perhaps Northern Ireland and East Anglia won’t be that cold, maybe just a degree or two below freezing, otherwise we are talking about several degrees below freezing across Scotland, Wales.

“Much of England, including the South West, could see temperatures of minus 5C or minus 6C which is exceptionally cold.

“We have a snow warning across the northern half of Scotland for Wednesday and that is when the snow showers coming from the north will be most impactful, they will probably start on Tuesday and we will see very significant snow in the north.

“It looks like it could last a week. The northerly flow is going to stay with us, it’s not going to be particularly unsettled, so there will be some showers, it’s mostly going to be largely dry but cold.

“From the middle of next week there are some signs we may see some more unsettled weather with milder weather coming up from the south but it’s far away at the moment.

“At the moment it is cloudy, meaning there won’t be huge differences between daily highs and overnight lows, but as we go through this week, we will get that cold northerly flow with clearer skies so sunny and crisp by day but even colder at night.”