UK weather: Don"t put your winter coats away just yet: Forecasters warn of four days of freezing weather with temperatures feeling like -10C

Don't put your winter coats away just yet: Forecasters warn of four days of freezing weather with temperatures feeling like -10CTemperatures could plunge as low as -6C in some areasWind chill will mean some places feel like -10C

By
Sam Webb

PUBLISHED:

00:18 GMT, 21 February 2013

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UPDATED:

09:52 GMT, 21 February 2013

If you were hoping for a little respite from the cold weather, the prospects are not looking good.

An unusually cold snap will take hold of Britain over the next few days as freezing winds sweep across the nation.

Strong gusts of up to 50mph will mean that temperatures hovering around freezing point could feel more like -10 degrees in some areas.

The chilly winds and overnight frosts will cover all of Britain, while the east will be affected by light snow flurries.

Enjoy it while it lasts: Two girls in Southsea, Hampshire enjoy an ice cream today, but forecasters have warned not to put your coats away just yet

Enjoy it while it lasts: Two girls in Southsea, Hampshire enjoy an ice cream today, but forecasters have warned not to put your coats away just yet

Away from the elements: These sunseekers didn't let a chilly wind on Southsea beach spoil their day at the beach as they sheltered behind a windbreak

Away from the elements: These sunseekers didn't let a chilly wind on Southsea beach spoil their day at the beach as they sheltered behind a windbreak

The temperatures are much colder than normal for this time of year, a weather expert said, when we should expect averages of around six to eight degrees.

Billy Payne, a forecaster for MeteoGroup, the weather division of the Press Association, said: 'It's certainly going to feel much colder today and over the weekend.

'Temperatures are expected to stay just above freezing point throughout the day, but with the wind chill factor it could feel more like than -5 degrees, or even -10 degrees where the winds are strongest.

'They could hit around 50mph in Cornwall, while the rest of Britain will see gusts of around 30mph and higher in exposed areas.

'These temperatures are very cold for this time of year. We expect cold weather in February but it is impressively cold really.'

Spring not yet sprung: A family make the most of yesterday's sunny weather with a boat ride on the lake at Southsea. But the weather is to turn much colder in the next few days

Spring not yet sprung: A family make the most of yesterday's sunny weather with a boat ride on the lake at Southsea. But the weather is to turn much colder in the next few days

On Saturday there is an increasing
risk of snow flurries coming in from the east and spreading across the
west towards Wales leaving a dusting of snow behind.

It will remain cold on Sunday with more wintery showers before temperatures start to rise on Monday.

The Met Office has issued a severe
weather warning amid fears the freezing weather could ravage the health
of the elderly, young children and other vulnerable people.

The Met Office said: ‘Prolonged
periods of cold weather can be dangerous, especially for the very young,
very old, or those with chronic diseases.’

‘This weather could increase the health risks to vulnerable patients and disrupt the delivery of services.’

Larger than life: Youngsters clamber around on a boat on the lake at Southsea yesterday

Larger than life: Youngsters clamber around on a boat on the lake at Southsea yesterday

A
Met Office spokesman added: ‘The main thing we’re concerned with is the
cold and how it will have an effect on health, rather than travel and
transport.’

The cold will
be heightened by strong winds dragged over the North Sea from
Scandinavia and Siberia, especially in southern areas, which will also
face ‘penetrating overnight frosts’.

The Met Office also warned that roads
and pavements are likely to be icy over the next five days, but no major
disruption from snow is expected.

After a frosty start today, it will be a cold and breezy day across the UK with sunny spells.

The
best of the sunshine will be across western England, while central and
eastern parts of the country will be fairly cloudy with the chance of a
few snow flurries towards North Sea coasts.

The cold snap is set to continue into the rest of next week although the severe weather alert expires at 7am on Sunday.