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Met Office – Cold Weather Alert Level 3 – Wednesday 17 – Sunday 21 January 2018

Level 3 – Cold Weather Action

There is a 90% probability of severe cold weather/icy conditions/heavy snow between 0900 on Wednesday 17 January and 1800 on Sunday 21 January 2018 in parts of England including the West Midlands (60%). This weather could increase the health risks to vulnerable patients and disrupt the delivery of services.

West Midlands – Trigger criteria are expected to be met for low temperatures by the weekend.

Nationally – On Wednesday, wintry showers in the north and west will ease ahead of a vigorous area of low pressure which is expected to move across the north of England overnight Wednesday into Thursday. This will bring a spell of heavy rain across central and southern parts of England, but snow across northern England. Snowfall accumulations in the range 3-8cm at low levels, and 10-20cm across the high ground from Peak District northwards. There will also be a period of very strong winds to the south of the low centre across much of England. The rest of Thursday and Friday will then see a return to cold, windy conditions across all parts with further wintry showers, especially in the west and north, with further snow accumulations across the higher ground in the north. Into the start of the weekend, it should turn drier and less windy, but with widespread overnight frosts, locally severe where snow lies. During Sunday, a new area of rain is expected to push in from the west, but with a temporary spell of snow possible on the leading edge, mainly in the north. Less cold conditions then follow to all parts by the end of the day.

Trigger criteria for temperature and snow/ice are expected to be reached for the north of England, with temperature criteria also likely to be reached for central areas at times. Southern areas are expected to remain marginal for reaching trigger criteria.

As always, during this period of cold weather, make sure you stay warm and if you intend to go outside dress appropriately with the correct footwear. If you remain indoors, make sure that your heating  is set to the right temperature (heating your home to at least 18 degrees Celsius in winter poses minimal risk to your health when you are wearing suitable clothing).

Due to the increase in health risks during cold weather, if there is anyone you know who might be at special risk, for example an older person living on their own, make sure they know what to do to stay warm and are well stocked with food and medications.

If you  are particularly worried about your own health, or that of someone you know please call NHS 111

Additional steps you can take to keep yourself and your friends, family and neighbours safe are:

Advice: Prolonged periods of cold weather can be dangerous, especially for the very young, very old or those with chronic diseases.

If you want more information about how cold weather can affect your health please visit If you are concerned about your health or somebody you care for, advice can be obtained from, NHS 111 or your local pharmacist.

Please refer to the national Cold Weather Plan and your Trust’s emergency plan for appropriate preventive action.

An update will be issued when the alert level changes in any region. Alerts are issued once a day by 0900 if required and are not subject to amendment in between standard issue times. Note that the details of the forecast weather are valid at the time of issue but may change over the period that an alert remains in force. These details will not be updated here unless the alert level also changes, the latest forecast details can be obtained at the following link:

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