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Cold Weather Alerts And Health Warnings Issued - Latest Update
Ribblehead in winter - photo by David Incoll
Weather forecasters are warning that all parts of England could experience cold, snow and ice over the next week, prompting PHE to again warn people to plan ahead.

The change of weather will bring cold air to all parts of England from Thursday and is likely to affect all areas of the country over the weekend says the Met Office. At the same time, the Flood Forecasting Centre has reported a risk of coastal flooding impacts as high tides and strong winds affect the whole of the east coast of England and Cumbria.

High tide in Scarborough - photo by Pictr73
Dr Thomas Waite of the Extreme Events team at PHE said:

"It is unusual that we are warning about the risks from cold and floods at the same time, but that’s why it’s absolutely critical that people keep up to date with the Met Office’s weather forecasts and the Environment Agency’s flood warnings. There is lots we can do to prepare for cold weather. We can all keep an eye out for family, friends and neighbours who may be at risk.

"Those with heart and lung conditions, younger children and older people, are at particular risk during cold weather. Experience shows us that every winter thousands of people are seriously affected and even die from illnesses linked to the cold. That’s why it’s so important that we all play a part in minimising the risks to health this winter.

"If your home or business is at risk of flooding, you can sign up for flood warnings by phone, email or text message."

photo by Morlen Jones
Steve Willington, Chief Meteorologist at the Met Office, said:

"Cold Arctic air is expected to spread south across all parts of England through Thursday and Friday. A brisk northerly wind will give significant wind chill. Whilst many areas will remain dry with sunny spells through the day, occasional snow showers are expected giving localised accumulations and icy patches. These are possible anywhere, although most likely in north-west and north-east England, and east coastal areas. A band of rain moving east on Sunday and Monday may turn to sleet or snow in Midlands, and areas northwards, potentially producing further accumulations. This period of cold weather is then likely to continue into next week."

Top tips to prepare for colder weather

You should:


look out for friends and family who may be vulnerable to the cold and ensure they have access to warm food and drinks and are managing to heat their homes adequately
try to maintain indoor temperatures to at least 18°C, particularly if you are not mobile, have long term illness or are 65 or over
stay tuned for weather forecasts, ensure you are stocked with food and medications in advance, have deliveries or ask a friend to help
take weather into account when planning your activity over the following days
seek entitlements and benefits such as Winter Fuel Payments and Cold Weather Payments, which are available to some
avoid exposing yourself to cold or icy outdoor conditions if you are at a higher risk of cold related illness or falls.
discuss with friends and neighbours about clearing snow and ice from in front of your house and public walkways nearby

Power and utility companies have schemes which make at-risk groups a priority for reconnection following power cuts. Find out if you meet the criteria and if so, sign up. Visit ofgem.gov.uk for more information.

There’s lots of useful advice on the Stay Well This Winter website.
https://www.nhs.uk/staywell#2EJOb69z8MHYFhMQ.9

Where's our water gone? - photo by GollyGforce
Dr Waite added:

"We know that more deaths occur every winter in the UK than in the summer due to a wide range of causes including cold weather, influenza and other respiratory infections. The flu vaccination is the best protection we have against flu and it’s really important to have it if you are eligible. If we all keep a close eye out for each other over the coming months hopefully we’ll all be able to stay well this winter."

Cold Weather Alerts And Health Warnings Issued - Latest Update, 6th December 2017, 17:11 PM