27 January 2012 - Colder weather will affect the UK over the next few days as weather from the east wins the battle for dominance against the milder conditions that have prevailed so far this winter.
Temperatures are likely to be below average this weekend and through next week, bringing the longest spell of colder weather so far this winter.
The weekend will see widespread overnight frosts with maximum temperatures during the day of around 5 °C and temperatures of around -1 °C at night, with most places staying dry.
Chris Tubbs, Chief Forecaster at the Met Office, said: "At the moment we have a high pressure system over eastern Europe trying to push cold air in from the east, while milder Atlantic air is trying to push in from the west.
"The colder air is set to win over the next few days, bringing a risk of snow to western areas on Monday morning. Looking further ahead into February, there is uncertainty over how this finely balanced situation will play out, with colder conditions more likely to dominate but milder weather could still return."
With the colder conditions, the Met Office will be issuing Cold Weather Alerts as part of the Cold Weather Plan developed by the Department of Health, the Health Protection Agency and Age UK to help reduce the impact of cold weather on people's health this winter.
Michelle Mitchell, Charity Director at Age UK said: "It may have been relatively mild so far this year but the winter can be a dangerous time for older people. Many people believe that the only risk of winter weather is getting a cold but the risk is much greater. Low temperatures raise blood pressure which puts people at a greater risk of heart attacks and strokes and well as increasing the likelihood and severity of flu and other respiratory problems.
"We want older people to be able to enjoy the winter and, most importantly of all, stay well. That is why we have linked up with the Met Office to get advance information to ensure that forewarned is forearmed when it comes to winter weather."
Patrick Sachon, Health Business Manager at the Met Office said: "With the first real cold snap of the winter, Age UK demonstrates just how valuable the Cold Weather Alert Service is to the more vulnerable sectors of the community.
"These alerts put everyone in a better position to respond to forecasts of severe weather, inform those who are most at risk from winter weather and what they can do to keep well."
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