Ice box Britain: Sub-zero blast sends temperatures plunging to bone-chilling -3C as nation is hit by widespread frost and freezing fog in brutally cold start to the week
- Temperatures will plunge to a bone-chilling -3C across the UK this week
- Cold snap will hit England between this morning and 6pm tomorrow
- Health Security Agency issued cold weather warning for vulnerable individuals
A sub-zero blast will see temperatures plunge to -3C this week as the UK is bit by widespread frost and freezing fog.
The cold snap will hit England between this morning and 6pm tomorrow, the Met Office has warned. Temperatures will hit bone-chilling lows at night, but are not expected to fall below mid-single figures in the daytime during the chilly spell.
The UK Health Security Agency has issued a cold weather warning for this week, alleging the dip in temperatures could could have ‘serious consequences’ for the health of vulnerable people.
Meanwhile, a coal-fired power station has been put on standby to produce electricity this week due to expected low winds and temperatures.
The cold snap will hit England between this morning and 6pm tomorrow, Met Office warned
A sub-zero blast will see temperatures plunge to -3C this week as the UK is bit by widespread frost and freezing fog. Pictured: A horse grazing in a frosty field in Dunsden, Oxfordshire today
It will be a cloudy and windy day in the far north and northwest this morning, with some rain and drizzle, the Met Office said.
Isolated fog patches will clear this morning leaving other regions of the UK with a dry day with long spells of sunshine and light winds.
Temperatures are expected to fall to sub-zero levels in the coming days in rural areas, forecasters allege.
All regions of England will be affected, but forecasters expect the West Midlands and the Welsh Borders to be the coldest.
Clear spells will lead to widespread frost and extensive fog across the southern regions overnight. It will remain cloudy in the central and northern areas.
Forecasters are also predicting rain and strong winds to develop in the northwest tonight.
Tomorrow Scotland and Northern Ireland will see clods and outbreaks of rain. Further south will experience near-average temperatures as fog slowly clears.
Much of the UK will see dry, sunny spells for the rest of the week, but it will be windy and rainy at times in the northwest. Overnight fog and frost is expected in the south.
Temperatures are expected to fall to sub-zero levels in the coming days in rural areas, forecasters allege
Meanwhile, the National Grid revealed that one of the ‘winter contingency coal units’ has had to be warmed up to provide a back-up supply if wind turbines do not generate enough energy.
It also said coal supplies were not at risk and it forms part of their winter contingency plan to prevent power cuts.
It comes just weeks after more than one million households and businesses were offered payments to turn their electricity off from 5pm to 6pm.
Despite the move to ensure there is enough supply to meet demand, National Grid is not rolling out is Demand Flexibility Service again this week.
Pensioners and people with underlying health conditions have also been urged to keep their heating on at least 18C.
Others are warned to stay warm and encouraged to look out for those who are most vulnerable in cold conditions.
Dr Agostinho Sousa, consultant in public health medicine at UKHSA, said over the weekend: ‘Cold weather can have serious consequences for health, with older people and those with heart or lung conditions particularly at risk.
‘It’s important to check in on family, friends and relatives who are more vulnerable to the cold weather. 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 18C if you can.’
The coal-fired Ratcliffe-on-Soar Power Station near Nottingham, which is one of only three active coal-fired power stations in the UK
David Oliver, a deputy chief forecaster at the Met Office, said: ‘Into early next week an area of high pressure will dominate the UK’s weather.
‘This will bring some cold nights with a widespread frost across the country. However, by day temperatures will recover to around mid-single figures, near normal for the time of year.’
Met Office meteorologist Dan Stroud added: ‘We are expecting a cold front to sink south during the course of Saturday and it is going to really help clear the clouds.
‘It is going to allow overnight temperatures to dip below zero and we are likely to see an increasing risk of overnight frost as we move into the early part of next week.
‘Wrap up warm and close your curtains in the evening to help keep in the heat.
‘Daytime temperatures will be responding to the sunshine… we are likely to see them go to about average or just below average.’
The UKHSA said if people can’t heat all the rooms they use, they should heat the living room during the day and the bedroom just before going to sleep.
People should wear several layers of thinner clothing rather than one thick jumper, it added.
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