Snow forecast: UK set for HEAVY SNOW in 72 hours as Canada winds spark -13C weekend FREEZE

Dr Thomas Waite, of the Extreme Events team at PHE, said: “Cold weather like this is part of winter but just because we’re used to it doesn’t mean we shouldn’t take steps to protect ourselves from becoming ill.

“Every winter thousands of people die from illnesses linked to exposure to the cold both indoor and outside that’s why it’s so important we all look out for each other.”

Malcolm Booth, chief executive of the National Federation of Occupational Pensioners (NFOP), added: “It is easy to forget how traumatic a cold snap can be, it is important to follow the advice and keep warm.

“We can often get caught unawares by a sudden cold blast as the weather patterns change at this time of year, but whenever there are warnings for very cold weather ahead it is worth stocking up on basics so there is something warm to eat and will save you having to venture out in the worst of the weather.”

Forecasts for another cold spell have prompted bookies to slash the odds on weather records tumbling this month.

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