By Connor Steel
LOCAL residents have been urged to protect themselves and neighbours next week as Met Office issued a Level Two warning for extreme cold conditions in partnership with UK Health Security Agency (UKHSA); the latest alert covering Gosport and Fareham with overnight temperatures potentially dipping to below freezing.
This is the fourth such ‘warning’ since December 2022 and follows speculation that a second ‘Beast from the East’ could sweep the country exactly five years after this famous weather event. These rumours have since further gained tractions due to forecasts of artic winds over Scotland and Northern England early next week.
These winds look set to bring snow and ice to multiple locations from Monday (March 6), gradually drifting in a southern direction as the week progresses. This could result in widespread overnight frosts and the risk of slippery conditions on lower grounds, whilst public transport routes and delivery services may see problems.
Light sleet showers are being forecast in Gosport and Fareham through the morning on Wednesday (08/03); overcast but dry conditions dominating the radars over the coming three days. Current indications show that temperatures will be lower than average for the time of year; ranging from -2 to nine degrees Celsius overall.
Considering these wider forecasts the Met Office have issued yellow weather alerts for most of Scotland and Northern England; the UKHSA further putting a Level Two alert in place from 1am on Monday until Thursday midnight. It signals the potential 75% chance of cold weather; far below their ‘National Emergency’ threshold.
With temperatures plummeting and people being forced to rely on limited heating facilities given the ongoing cost of living crisis, concerns have been raised about the health impacts of this forecast weather on the most vulnerable in society. This covers disabled people, elderly adults and those with an underlining health issues.
But whilst officials aren’t advising people to remain indoors or avoid unnecessary travel, they have published advice to help ensure that everybody is safe during this cold weather; thus avoiding pressure for all hospitals and emergency services. This includes wearing suitable clothing and keeping a variety of essential products.
More importantly it asks that people remain vigilant for friends and family who are the most vulnerable in cold conditions; ensuring they have access to warm food and regular drinks when required. It is also advised that those with health conditions should maintain their indoor temperatures above 18 degrees wherever possible.
Those with mobility issues or at a higher risk of cold-related issues are further urged to reduce unnecessary exposure to cold and icy conditions under the alert; which also offers information on collecting medicines as well as reasonable adjustments that employers could make with staff members who have health conditions.
Further advice is available by reading the Cold Weather Plan for England, which remains unchanged for the winter from 2022-23. Readers can also find out more details on current schemes such as the Cold Weather Payment and the Fuel Winter Payment via the Government website, with both links updated early this week.
Information about how cold weather can affect people’s health can also be explored via www.nhs.uk, whilst advice can furthermore be seen on www.nhs.uk/winterhealth. In any emergency readers should call 999 for an ambulance or NHS 111 for advice; whilst all local surgeries and pharmacies will remain open as normal.
PICTURED BY ALAMY (2GGBYNN): Snow scenes may return to both Gosport and Fareham late next week with sleet showers forecast to sweep Hampshire; the Met Office and UKHSA issuing an early health warning.