From UKGov/ Public Health England

Regular updates on cold weather and how to stay well during low temperatures.

Frosty field in foggy conditions

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Public Health England (PHE) has issued a cold weather alert for first thing Thursday 21 January to 9am on Monday 25 January for the North East, North West and Yorkshire and the Humber.

The Met Office has forecast that the arrival of Storm Christoph will bring severe cold weather with icy conditions and heavy snow. In addition, public health risks will be amplified by the risk of flooding across the same regions during this time. As the storm clears the risk of cold weather is expected to increase in northern parts of England into the weekend.

With combined risks to health from the impacts of cold weather and flooding, PHE is issuing important health advice to local partners and the public on staying safe and checking on others.

Dr Owen Landeg, a Principal Environmental Public Health Scientist at PHE:

Keep looking out for frail or older neighbours and relatives, especially those who live alone or with a serious illness. Make a call, or socially-distanced doorstep visit if they live close by, to remind them to try to heat their home to at least 18°C, 64.4 Fahrenheit and to wear shoes with a good grip if they need to go outside. It’s also important to check that they have enough food and any medicines they need.

Flooding during the very cold weather can exacerbate the risks to health. If you experience flooding, it’s important to avoid using petrol or diesel generators, or other similar fuel-driven equipment, indoors because carbon monoxide in the exhaust gases can be deadly.

Flooding can significantly disrupt people’s lives and it’s normal to feel anxious, tired and have difficulty sleeping. If you are feeling stressed or overwhelmed by the situation, talk to friends, family, neighbours or community support groups. If these feelings persist, contact your GP or NHS 111 for advice.  The National Flood Forum can also provide valuable support to those affected.

Neil Armstrong, Chief Meteorologist at the Met Office, said:

Storm Christoph is bringing a very unsettled period for the UK over the next few days, and a number of severe weather warnings have been issued. Parts of central and northern England and Wales could potentially see a month’s rain in just 48 hours or so with up to 200mm possible over higher ground, presenting a real flooding threat.

As Storm Christoph moves away into the North Sea overnight Wednesday into Thursday cold air from the north west starts to push south across the UK and, as temperatures drop, we start to see the potential for hazardous snow in parts of Scotland and a return to overnight frosts for many across the UK by the weekend.

Keep updated on the weather forecast and news on the Met Office and Environment Agency websites.

If flooding has been forecast in your area, phone Floodline on 0345 988 1188 or 0845 988 1188 or contact your local authority if you have questions.

Refer to the Cold Weather Plan for England and PHE’s online resources and advice on the concurrent risks of cold weather and COVID-19 for advice on how to keep warm and keep well during winter and visit PHE’s flooding collection page for health information for flooding events.

Previous updates

Friday 15 January 2021

Public Health England has put a new cold weather alert in place until 9am Monday 18 January for much of the country.

Frost and ice, and a chance of snow on Saturday, is expected in the North East, North West, Yorkshire and the Humber, East Midlands, the East of England, West Midlands and the South East of England.

Dr Owen Landeg, a Principal Environmental Public Health Scientist at PHE, said:

As harsh wintry conditions persist across much of the country, it’s really important to keep checking on frail or older neighbours and relatives, especially those who live alone or with a serious illness.

Make a call, or socially-distanced doorstep visit if they live close by, to remind them of important health advice such as keeping their homes heated to at least 18°C, 64.4 Fahrenheit, and to wear shoes with a good grip if they need to go outside.

Food is also a vital source of energy so reminding them to have plenty of hot food and drinks will also help to keep them safe and well through the cold weather.

Steve Ramsdale, Chief Meteorologist at the Met Office, said:

The weather is staying unsettled over the weekend, with a snow and ice warning in place across many eastern parts of the country for Saturday. There will be spells of heavy rain at times which will likely fall as snow or sleet.

After temperatures recover by Sunday, it will remain unsettled through the early part of next week. However, colder conditions are forecast to return from midweek.

Check the Met Office weather forecast to stay aware of the weather in your region.

This year PHE has supplemented the Cold Weather Plan for England with useful resources and advice on the concurrent risks of cold weather and COVID-19 and how to keep warm and keep well this winter.

Monday 11 January 2021

Public Health England is issuing a new cold weather warning from 6pm on Monday 11 January to 9am Friday 15 January.

Regions that are most likely to be affected are the North East, North West, Yorkshire and the Humber, East Midlands and the East of England.

These areas can expect harsh winter conditions with cold temperatures, widespread frost and the possibility of ice. Snow is also anticipated on Wednesday and Thursday.

With parts of the country experiencing yet another period of cold weather, Public Health England (PHE) is reiterating important health advice to help people to stay warm and well.

Dr Owen Landeg, Principal Environmental Public Health Scientist at PHE, said:

It’s important to try to heat your home to at least 18° Celsius, 64.4 Fahrenheit, particularly if you have reduced mobility, are 65 and over, or have a health condition, such as heart or lung disease.

Wearing a few layers of thin clothing is better at trapping heat than one thick layer and wear shoes with a good grip if you need to go outside to reduce the risk of slips and injury and the need for a hospital visit.

Remember to keep checking on frail or older neighbours or relatives, especially those living alone or who have serious illnesses, by making a phone call or a social-distanced doorstep visit to those close by.

If you are struggling to afford heating bills, Simple Energy Advice provides free advice on energy efficiency and national grants that could help you keep warm and well.

To check the latest weather forecast updates visit the Met Office website or app.

This year PHE has supplemented the Cold Weather Plan for England with useful resources and advice on the concurrent risks of cold weather and COVID-19 and how to keep warm and keep well this winter.

Friday 8 January 2021

Public Health England (PHE) has extended the cold weather alert until 9am Monday 11 January for all regions of England.

Severe cold weather will continue over the weekend with the severest conditions moving from the North to the West Midlands, East of England and southern parts of the country.

Very cold and frosty weather at night may persist all day with a risk of icy conditions in some parts of England.

Dr Owen Landeg, Principal Environmental Public Health Scientist at PHE, said:

As this cold spell continues, remember to look out for vulnerable neighbours and relatives.

Remind those who are frail, especially if they live alone or with a serious illness, to keep their homes heated to at least 18 Celsius, 64.4 Fahrenheit and to wear shoes with a good grip if they need to leave their home.

For those struggling to afford heating bills as this cold spell continues, Simple Energy Advice provides free advice on energy efficiency and national grants that could help you keep warm and well.

To check the latest weather forecast updates visit the Met Office website or app.

This year PHE has supplemented the Cold Weather Plan for England with useful resources and advice on the concurrent risks of cold weather and COVID-19 and how to keep warm and keep well this winter.

Monday 4 January 2021

With severe cold weather conditions forecast to continue to 9am on Friday 8 January, across the country, Public Health England (PHE) is reminding people to look out for those who are vulnerable during low temperatures.

Dr Owen Landeg, Principal Environmental Public Health Scientist at PHE, said:

During this cold spell we all need to be looking out for frail or older neighbours or relatives, especially those living alone or who have serious illnesses. We still need to be aware of COVID-19 safety and local restrictions, but regular phone calls or socially-distant visits on their doorstep can make all the difference. Simple things – like reminding them to keep their homes well heated, to at least 18 Celsius, 64.4 Fahrenheit, if possible, and if they’re venturing out in icy conditions wearing shoes with a good grip to help prevent falls – will all help keep them safe and healthy.

Steve Ramsdale, Chief Meteorologist at the Met Office, said:

January has got off to a cold start, with widespread low temperatures, frost and ice across the country. Over the next few days temperatures are generally limited to between 3 to 7 Celsius by day and falling widely below freezing overnight with a brisk north easterly wind making it feel even colder for many. Snow and sleet is possible, particularly over higher ground in the north of the UK early in the week and perhaps further south towards the end of the week.

Temperatures are expected to start to recover as we go through the weekend and into the start of next week.

Keep up-to-date with the latest weather forecast on the Met Office website or app.

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