(Picture: AP)

Brits awoke to frigid temperatures this morning as Scandinavia’s ‘freeze of the century’ takes hold.

The Met Office issued a yellow ice alert for London and the southeast, effective until 10 am, cautioning residents about sleet, snow, ice, and rapidly dropping temperatures.

This cold spell, originating from Scandinavia, is expected to persist until at least Friday, according to forecasts. Last Friday, Norway’s weather service recorded the coldest temperature in the country in 25 years, reaching -43.5°C in one Lapland village.

While the UK is not anticipating such extreme temperatures, some areas in England could experience lows of -4°C, with Scotland potentially dropping to -8°C, and the windchill factor making it feel even colder.

These weather warnings coincide with ongoing flood recovery efforts in various regions following Storm Henk. Prime Minister Rishi Sunak visited residents in Oxford and conferred with Environment Agency workers addressing post-deluge cleanup.

With wet surfaces likely to freeze in the colder weather, drivers are urged to exercise caution. The Met Office spokesperson highlighted the possibility of icy patches on untreated surfaces due to wintry showers, and some places may experience 1-3cm of snow, particularly over the north Downs and on grassy surfaces.

An amber cold health alert (CHA) for the northwest of England, West Midlands, East Midlands, and southwest England is in effect until noon on Friday. This alert, issued by the UK Health Security Agency (UKHSA) and the Met Office, indicates anticipated ‘cold weather impacts across the whole health service for an extended period.’

Additionally, a yellow cold health alert covers the northeast of England, Yorkshire and the Humber, east of England, southeast England, and London. Dr. Agostinho Sousa, head of extreme events and health protection at UKHSA, emphasized the importance of checking on the well-being of those most vulnerable to the cold, as lower temperatures can increase the risks of heart attacks, strokes, and chest infections, particularly for older individuals and those with pre-existing health conditions.

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