Wednesday, March 20th 2013, 9:20 AM EDT
Issued at: 0831 on Wed 20 Mar 2013
There is a 90% probability of severe cold weather/icy conditions/heavy snow between 0800 on Wednesday and 0800 on Sunday in parts of England. This weather could increase the health risks to vulnerable patients and disrupt the delivery of services. Please refer to the national Cold Weather Plan and your Trust's emergency plan for appropriate preventive action.
Throughout the period, it is expected to be cold across northern areas with temperature levels close to criteria, strong winds also giving a considerable chill. In addition, from Thursday night through into Saturday an area of rain, sleet and snow will spread from the southwest, bringing the likelihood of a significant snow event to areas from the Midlands northwards, particularly for inland areas with even just a slight elevation. Southern and southwestern areas will be a little milder for a time but temperatures are now expected to fall later, perhaps reaching criteria.
Amber — Severe weather action
Triggered by the Met Office when we are experiencing weather which breaches any of the thresholds. This stage requires social and healthcare services to target specific actions at high-risk groups....
...Advice: Prolonged periods of cold weather can be dangerous, especially for the very young, very old or those with chronic diseases.
If you want more information about how cold weather can affect your health please visit www.nhs.uk. If you are concerned about your health or somebody you care for, please contact NHS Direct on 0845 4647, www.nhsdirect.nhs.uk or your local pharmacist.