Freezing temperatures are set to smash into the country with thermometers plunging well below 0C overnight. Conditions could fall as low as -7C in some areas, forecasters have claimed, as much of the country starts the week with harsh frosty conditions. Alex Burkhill of the Met Office told Express.co.uk that temperatures were expected to fall as low as -6C and even to possibly -7C, similar to overnight temperatures on Saturday into Sunday.
He added that North Yorkshire, central and southern parts of the UK could see the coldest conditions.
Mr Burkhill claimed the low temperatures were “due to the exceptionally high pressure over the UK tonight.”
He added: “We also do have a fog warning in place until midnight tonight. Fog may continue in some places until the morning, but there is greater confidence of fog throughout this evening”.
The Met Office meteorologist added that some parts of the UK could even experience “freezing fog” as we go through the early hours tomorrow.
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Much of the UK will start the week “cold and frosty” with a “widespread harsh frost in the south”.
Looking ahead, the Met Office meteorologist said temperatures will gradually rise a little through the week, with Britain experiencing slightly more cloud.
On Wednesday, Mr Burkhill said the UK “could see a few spots of rain” but it would remain “largely dry” with temperatures likely to peak at “highs of 12C or 13C” with the cloudier skies.
The UK is currently experiencing rare “exceptionally high pressure of 1048.4 hectoPascals” a figure which has only been recorded on around 10 instances since 1900.
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Mr Burkhill added the high-pressure was “still rising” and if it reached 1050 hectoPascals, it would become the highest pressure since 1957.
Weather warnings have been issued as a result of the bitterly cold conditions, with Public Health England warning about the freezing weather.
A mid-range cold water alert is in place for the West Midlands, East Midlands, East of England, Southeast England and Southwest England expected to experience cold weather from 6pm on Sunday 19 January to 6pm on Tuesday 21 January.
With the forecast of cold weather and some freezing fog patches for parts of England, Public Health England (PHE) is urging people to prepare for cold weather conditions and look out for those most at-risk.
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Widespread harsh frost in the south
Dr Owen Landeg, Principal Environmental Public Health Scientist at Public Health England, said: “Older people and those with heart and lung problems are at risk of getting sick in cold weather.
“Keep an eye out for those who may need help staying warm, ensure they wear lots of thin layers and have everything they need.
“Below 18 degrees, changes to the body mean that the risk of strokes, heart attacks and chest infections increase so heating homes to this temperature is particularly important to stay well.”
Nick Silkstone, Deputy Chief Meteorologist at the Met Office said: “High pressure is in place across the UK this weekend bringing settled, mainly dry, but also cold weather for many.
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“It will be colder than of late with temperatures dropping below freezing overnight and a chance of widespread frost but with sunny spells throughout the day.
“However, at the start of next week the chance of fog and cloud will increase across central and southern areas which will mean that it will also feel colder by day.”
A yellow weather warning has also been issued by the Met Office in parts of western England for fog until midnight on Sunday evening.
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The warning read: “Today’s fog patches will quickly thicken up and become more extensive this evening, some of these patches then dense with visibility less than 100 metres at times. Overnight, fog will tend to slowly lift.”
Leading bookmakers have even slashed odds on this month to go down as the coldest January on record.
Alex Apati of Ladbrokes said: “It looks like this month could be a record-breaker on the weather front with temperatures set to plummet.”