Public Health England has issued a warning to keep warm as the Met Office forecast a spell of cold weather.

People are being urged prepare for cold weather conditions and look out for those most at-risk.

Temperatures are set to drop well below freezing across swathes of the country, reaching -2C in some areas.

The Met Office has today announced that there is a high chance that the south east will experience cold weather, which is expected to last until midnight on Tuesday.

The full warning from the Met Office and Public Health England:

Current alert level: Level 2 - Alert and Readiness

There is a 60 per cent probability of severe cold weather until midnight on Tuesday in parts of England.

This weather could increase the health risks to vulnerable patients and disrupt the delivery of services.

Also a risk of wintry showers, and icy surfaces.

The cold weather, with overnight frosts, and chance of wintry showers is expected to extend southwards over the weekend to the south east and south west, with possible sharp overnight frosts and low single figure daytime temperatures.

There is a risk of icy patches forming on untreated surfaces.

Areas of rain will readily turn to snow over hills in the south east on Saturday and in the southwest on Sunday, perhaps with several cm even to low levels.

A ridge will build across the UK on Monday with mostly dry but rather chilly conditions.

An update will be issued when the alert level changes in any region.

Weather forecast for the south east:


Dry, with sunny spells for most, but feeling cold with a frosty start. Plenty of sunny spells through the morning and afternoon as winds become increasingly light. Maximum temperature 7C.


Becoming cloudy from the west this evening with outbreaks of showery rain along the south coast toward midnight. Becoming dry later with a risk of fog. Feeling cold. Minimum temperature -2C.


Another rather cold and frosty start for many on Saturday. Becoming bright and sunny by day but with a cold and frosty night to follow. Maximum temperature 5C.

Outlook for Sunday to Tuesday:

Feeling cold with sunny spells on Sunday and Monday, but a risk of rain or showers at times. Overnight frosts likely. Turning wet and windy from the west on Tuesday.

What to do:

As cold weather can increase health risks, it's important to look out for those who are more vulnerable in low temperatures.

Check up on frail or older neighbours and relatives, particularly if they live alone, whilst remembering to follow COVID-19 social distancing guidance.

Dr Ishani Kar-Purkayastha, Consultant in Public Health at PHE, said: "Try to heat your home to at least 18C, particularly if you have reduced mobility, are 65 and over, or have a health condition, such as heart or lung disease.

"Keep moving too if you can. Get up and walk around and spread housework throughout the day to help keep yourself warm. Food is also a vital source of energy so have plenty of hot food and drinks.

"Remember to check up on frail or older neighbours and relatives at this time, particularly if they live alone, and remember to follow COVID-19 social distancing guidance when looking out for others.

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