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Cold, mostly dry and bright weather continuing

Bright, cold and sunny weather for the rest of this week, with widespread overnight frosts and some wintry showers

Much of the UK will see fine and dry but cold weather continuing into the weekend. High pressure and clear skies will allow plenty of sunshine by day and cold, frosty nights.

However, the last week of the meteorological winter also looks like delivering some wintry showers in places which will lead to icy patches overnight as temperatures fall sharply under clear skies, leading to severe frosts too.

Some wintry showers are expected with northern and western parts of the UK most likely to see wintry showers with any showers in the south more isolated. A mixture of rain, hail, sleet and snow can be expected near coasts, while inland, especially over any hills, snow is more likely, leading to a slight covering in places.

Severe weather warnings have been issued for both snow and ice to advise of the risk of difficult driving conditions and disruption to travel. It's a good idea to check the UK forecast before you travel so that you are aware of any severe weather which may affect your journey.

Chief Operational Meteorologist Neil Armstrong said: "there will be plenty of fine, dry weather over the coming days with long sunny spells, but it will be cold with frosts expected overnight. Also, for some parts of the UK, there will be wintry showers which may lead to icy patches overnight and perhaps lead to some tricky travelling conditions, so it's worth checking the forecast before travelling."

Pressure set-up next 24 hoursPressure set-up this weekend

Towards the end of the week, slightly less cold air may approach southwestern parts of the UK as an area of low pressure brushes past Cornwall. This could bring cloudier, showery weather across western and perhaps some southern parts, with sleet and snow possible over higher ground. Our meteorologists will be keeping a close eye on developments this week to keep you updated. Keep up to date with what's happening in your area using our Seven day forecast, Facebook and Twitter pages and using our App.

However, for most, the cold, dry weather is likely to persist through the weekend with the cold increasingly accentuated by the wind. Further wintry showers are likely and there'll continue to be widespread overnight frosts, with a risk of ice where showers have made surfaces wet.

Dr Angie Bone of Public Health England (PHE) said: "Over the past few weeks the weather has been very changeable but with temperatures taking a dip it's important to remember that cold does kill, even in places where the temperatures aren't at their lowest. Most of our advice on keeping warm in cold weather may seem like common sense, but it's important that we make the point that people should think about how cold can affect them.

"This is a good time to think about how cold weather may affect your friends and family, particularly if they are older or very young or have pre-existing health conditions. These groups can be particularly vulnerable to the ill-effects of cold so think now what you could do to help - if you, or they, are eligible for a flu vaccination make sure you get it as soon as you can."

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