Cold weather alert issued across North West

Published on: Thursday, 15-January-2015

The Met Office has today issued a Level 3 alert for the North West of England – meaning that 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 northwest 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 to 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 that 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.”

The Cold Weather Plan for England https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/cold-weather-plan-for-england sets out a series of actions that health and social care organisations, voluntary and community groups, and individuals can take and plan for cold temperatures to help reduce cold-related illnesses and deaths.

Top tips to prepare for colder weather

  • Look out for friends and family who may be vulnerable to the cold and ensure they have access to warm food, drinks and managing to heat their homes adequately.
  • Try to maintain indoor temperatures to at least 18C, 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
  • 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, if unable to do so yourself.