Brrrritain is braced for chilly weekend: Gritters on standby as bitter Arctic winds bring snow and ice in parts of UK after overnight lows of -4C

Temperatures across Britain are set to plunge as a result of a weaker than normal jet stream which will allow in colder polar air, bringing with it snow and ice. 

The Met Office’s long range forecasters believe freezing temperatures could hit most areas towards the end of the month, bringing with it rain, snow and ice. 

Already, areas in Scotland and higher ground in the north of England have seen snow. 

Public Health England suggested that during the cold snap, people should look in on elderly neighbours and relatives. 

Dr Emer O’Connell of PHE said: ‘Experience shows us that every winter thousands of people are seriously affected and even die from illnesses linked to the cold. Protecting yourself from the cold may seem like common sense but many people do not manage to keep themselves warm

‘If you know someone at risk, someone over 65, anyone with dementia or a heart and lung condition, or a young child, check up on them and see if there’s anything you can do to help. All of us should be heating our homes to at least 18C, keeping up to date with weather forecasts and planning our days around them – simple steps can really help protect against the cold.’ 

Tonight, rain will threaten southern parts of England and Wales with frost in eastern areas. Rain and hill snow might hit the north west. 

Tomorrow, icy roads could threaten large parts of England and Wales, with hill snow in Scotland, Northern Ireland and much of Wales. 

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