The Met Office has today issued a Level 3 alert for the North West of England – meaning severe weather is now occurring.
A Level 3 is declared when average temperatures have, or are about to, fallen to 2C and/or widespread ice and heavy snow is present.
Frank Saunders, Chief Meteorologist at the Met Office, said: “After less cold conditions overnight Wednesday and for a time on Thursday, increasingly cold air will spread from the North West across England on Thursday night and during Friday, with showers turning more wintry from the north.
“Average temperatures are expected to continue falling through the weekend, with a northerly airstream likely to be established by Sunday. Frost and ice are expected to become increasingly widespread through the period, with some severe overnight frosts likely in the north over any snow cover by Monday.”
Because of the warnings, Public Health England is reminding people to look out for others, to keep warm indoors and take care when walking on icy or wet surfaces when out and about.
Dr Angie Bone, of the Extreme Events team at Public Health England, said: “Cold does kill, even in places where the temperatures aren’t at their lowest. Most of our advice on keeping warm in cold weather may seem like common sense, but it’s important we make the point that people should think about how cold can affect them.
“Our advice is that, when indoors, have plenty of warm food and drinks to stay warm and try to maintain indoor temperatures to at least 18C, particularly if you are not mobile, have long-term illness or are 65 or over. If mobility isn’t an issue, keep active as best you can. If you need to go out, wear lots of thin layers and wear shoes with a good, slip-resistant grip to prevent any accidental falls.
“This is also a good time to think about how the bad weather may affect your friends and family, particularly if they are older or very young or have pre-existing health conditions. These groups can be particularly vulnerable to the ill-effects of cold so think now what you could do to help.”