Britain’s government has issued the first cold weather health warning of the winter season, with freezing weather forecast for much of the country.
Over the next two days temperatures are expected to dip as low as -6°C (21.2°F) in the north of the UK, with the rest the country freezing or below.
This last weekend, temperatures were already as low as -2°C, according to the Guardian, with icy mornings in some areas.
The Met Office has warned that it will become increasingly cold as the week progresses.
Laura Paterson, Chief Operational Meteorologist for the Met Office, said in a statement: “Colder air will gradually spread south during Monday and Tuesday, with overnight frosts becoming more widespread, along with a brisk northerly breeze.
“A period of more widespread cold temperatures is then expected from Wednesday onward, whilst showers down the east coast are also expected to be wintry at times with some snow and ice possible.”
Winter officially starts on Friday, Dec. 1, and the cold snap is expected hold out well beyond that date. Some forecasters say it could last until January, according to the Daily Express.
Piers Corbyn, forecaster for WeatherAction, told the Express: “During the last part of November we expect widespread heavy snow with thunder at times and bitter winds.
“Strong northerly gales will contribute to bringing blizzard conditions with snow possible across much of the country.
“The jet stream is making wild north to south swings and we are also seeing a displacement of the Polar vortex which will allow cold winds in from the Arctic.”
Public Health England (PHE) urged British people to be aware of those who might be at risk from the cold, such as people with diseases such as heart and lung conditions, older people, and young children.
Dr Thomas Waite of PHE’s Extreme Events team, said in a statement: “When the colder weather arrives there are several things we can do to keep well: wear several thin layers instead of fewer thicker ones, keep parts of the home you’re using heated to at least 18°C and keep a careful eye on the weather forecasts.”
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