The start of this week was relatively mild and sunny but we have seen a change to colder and cloudier weather during the course of the week.
High pressure became established to the north-east of the UK and this dragged in colder air from Scandinavia. It took some time for the cold air to filter across the whole of the UK but over the last couple of days daytime temperatures struggled to rise to 3 °C in some places. Brisk winds across England and Wales made it feel much colder, and we saw a few snow showers across eastern parts of the country.
Will Lang, Met Office Chief Forecaster, said: “This is a different taste of winter to the snow and ice we have seen of late. These largely dry, settled and cold conditions may not be as disruptive to travel but they do present concerns surrounding the health and well being of the elderly and vulnerable.”
The Met Office issued a level 3 Cold Weather Alert in light of the widespread and prolonged cold conditions. These alerts give advance warning of adverse weather conditions, which enable people to take extra precautions to keep safe and well.
A Department of Health spokesperson said: “Severe cold weather can be dangerous, especially for the very young or very old or those with chronic disease. You can find advice on how to reduce your risk or that of somebody you know on the NHS Choices website, ringing NHS Direct on 0845 46 47 or contacting your local GP or pharmacist.
“The NHS is well prepared for the winter and we are providing an extra £330 million to the NHS and social care services to help cope with the added pressure that the winter brings.”
With high pressure remaining in place, cold and largely settled weather looks set to remain across the UK until the end of February at least, and you can find the latest information from our forecasts and warnings, our mobile apps and through broadcasts on TV and radio.