Following the issuing of Status Yellow snow and ice warnings from the UK’s Met Office today (Monday, January 16), the UK Health Security Agency (UKHSA) is urging people to stay warm and to look out for those most at risk from the effects of cold weather.

The agency said it was issuing the advice after the UK‘s national weather service warned of cold weather from today until Friday (January 20).

Head of extreme events and health protection at the UKHSA, Dr. Agostinho Sousa, said that cold weather can have a serious impact on the health of older people and those with pre-existing health conditions.

“During this period, it is important to check in on family, friends and relatives who may be more vulnerable to the cold weather,” he said.

“If you have a pre-existing medical condition or are over the age of 65, it is important to try and heat your home to at least 18°C if you can.”

On farms, Agriland advises farmers to be aware of the potential damage cold spells can produce. Water troughs and associated pipes, particularly concrete troughs that aren’t in use, are at risk of water freezing in them and possibly making them crack.

The doors of milking parlours should be kept closed during cold spells and anywhere where water can hold and possibly freeze should be drained.

Increased feed for calves, calf jackets and extra bedding can all help to keep your animals safe and healthy during cold weather.

Animals should have constant access to water and checks should be done regularly to ensure their water is not frozen over.

Jason Kelly, chief meteorologist at the Met Office, said cold, icy and sometimes snowy conditions are forecast for the whole week, “with the UK seeing more of a north-westerly regime, with temperatures well below average for the time of year”.

“Wintry showers are likely at points through the week in the north of England.

“Warnings have been issued and ice is likely to be a hazard for much of the week with some tricky travel conditions possible.

“Maximum temperatures will largely only reach the low single figures with temperatures below freezing through most nights this week,” he said.