Cold weather health warning

Public Health England

November 28
17:33 2016

Latest update

All parts of England, except for London, are likely to experience colder conditions in the coming days, according to the Met Office which today declared a Level 2 cold weather alert.

All the affected regions are likely to experience prolonged low night and daytime temperatures.

Dr Angie Bone of the Extreme Events team at PHE said:

Cold does kill, even in places where the temperatures arent at their lowest. Now is the time to prepare for the cold weather forecast by the Met Office, and to think of those you know who are older, very young, or have pre-existing health conditions who are particularly vulnerable. You can find more advice on the Stay Well This Winter and Keep Warm Keep Well webpages.

Andy Page, Chief Operational Meteorologist at the Met Office, said:

High pressure will bring generally dry and settled conditions this week, with clear skies and light winds allowing a widespread frost to occur on Monday and Tuesday night. From Wednesday onwards cloudier and slightly less cold conditions will arrive across northern England, therefore overnight frosts will become fewer and less severe in the north but cold weather may persist across the south where skies remain clearer.

Looking ahead into December and beyond, there are indications that a cold start to winter is more likely than normal, but this doesnt guarantee snow nor does it mean we wont see spells of mild and wet weather at times. Our forecast pages can help you plan for the winter weather. You can also find tips and advice for travelling in cold conditions to help you get ready for winter.

The 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. The Stay Well This Winter and Keep Warm Keep Well web pages have also got lots of useful advice.

The top tips to prepare for colder weather are to:

  • get the free flu jab now, if you qualify
  • 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


More information about the Cold-Weather Alert system from the Met Office.

Public Health England mission is to protect and improve the nations health and to address inequalities through working with national and local government, the NHS, industry and the voluntary and community sector. PHE is an operationally autonomous executive agency of the Department of Health. Follow us on Twitter: @PHE_uk and Facebook:

Watch our video cold weather and our health:

Watch our video cold weather and our health.

For more information or interviews call the PHE press office:

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