Public health warning issued for -6C lows as UK braces for 5 day cold snap

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Brits will have to band together to deal with some bitingly cold weather this week as officials issued a public health warning for subzero temperatures.

The Met Office has applied an advisory for cold weather in England for the West Midlands, East Midlands, East, South East, and South West from 6pm on Wednesday 19 January to 9am on Sunday 23 January.

Overnight lows of -6C are expected in Oxfordshire on Thursday, with mist also likely to cause issues in many parts of southern England.

The UK Health and Security Agency (UKHSA) has even asked Britons to drop in on elderly or vulnerable friends and neighbours when the so-called 'big freeze' hits.

Agostinho Sousa, Consultant in Public Health Medicine at UKHSA, 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.

"Remind vulnerable relatives and neighbours to heat their home to at least 18°C – particularly if they have reduced mobility, are 65 or older, or have a health condition. Should they need to go outside, it’s important for them to wear shoes with a good grip."

Steve Ramsdale, Chief Meteorologist at the Met Office, has offered an explanation for the temperature drop and said that things should warm up by the weekend.

He said: "A change in conditions brings cold air to the UK, spreading from the north later on Wednesday then lingering over England and Wales for the rest of the week and into the weekend.

With easing winds and good clear spells, a widespread frost is likely on Thursday and Friday morning with temperatures recovering somewhat by day. Into the weekend more cloud is likely to spread over England and Wales with less of a frost by night."

A cold weather alert from UKHSA advised that the 'Simple Energy Advice' scheme provides free advice on how to improve energy efficiency in your home and apply for heating grants.

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  • UK Weather
  • Met Office

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