Cold weather alert comes into force for England from Monday, March 6 as Met Office warns of ice and snow
An Arctic airmass will bring below-freezing temperatures, ice and the risk of snow to many parts of the country this week, the Met Office is warning.
A cold weather alert is in place from this morning (Monday) thanks to the arrival of a northerly airflow which is drawing icy air from the Arctic across England that could lead to widespread 'disruptive conditions'.
Yellow weather warnings for ice and snow have already been issued for northern and eastern areas with early forecasts suggesting that - alongside freezing temperatures for all parts of the country - the very worst of the weather could then track further south.
Deputy Chief Meteorologist, Chris Almond, said: "Very cold air will spread across the UK through early next week. This brings with it snow even to low levels in the north and east through Monday and Tuesday, and in excess of 10cm could accumulate, most likely on high ground in the north, but also settling for a time at lower levels.
"With freezing overnight temperatures and the risk of ice, there’s a risk of some travel disruption and wintry hazards are likely to persist through much of next week, even further south for a time, so keep an eye on the Met Office forecast for the latest information."
Forecasters have been watching weather models closely since it emerged that a weather system known as a Sudden Stratospheric Warming - which brought England the Beast from the East in 2018 - had occurred again at the end of February triggering the possibility for more winter storms in the following fortnight.
Level 2 and Level 3 cold weather alerts - which come jointly from the Met Office and UK Health Security Agency - have been issued across England for the start of the week and will be both reviewed, and possibly extended in the coming days.
The early warnings help organisations like the NHS and local councils organise in advance how they can ensure those vulnerable to the cold, such as the homeless or elderly, are properly taken care of.
Nationally, there are thousands of excess winter deaths every year caused by the cold and the alerts trigger actions across the NHS, public health, social care and other community organisations, to support vulnerable people with health issues that can be made worse in wintry weather.
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 with 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."