HEALTH chiefs have issued a rare warning ahead of the coldest night of the winter so far.

The mercury will dip to around -5C in London in the early hours of Friday as an Arctic blast holds the country in its grip.

Forecasters say it'll be so cold that overnight frosts will last all day in some areas.

The UK Health and Security Agency has now alerted people in central and southern England to look out for vulnerable neighbours during the chill.

Agostinho Sousa, consultant in public health medicine at the organisation, said the cold can have a deadly toll.

"Cold weather can have a serious impact on health, particularly for older people and those with heart and lung problems, as it increases the risks of heart attacks, strokes and chest infections," she said.

"Remind vulnerable relatives and neighbours to heat their home to at least 18C – particularly if they have reduced mobility, are 65 or older, or have a health condition.


"Should they need to go outside, it's important for them to wear shoes with a good grip."

Met Office forecaster Aidan McGivern said southerners are set to shiver as thr week goes on.

"On Friday morning, there'll be a widespread frost," he said.

"It'll be perhaps the coldest night of the winter for some southern parts of the country."

However, the weather will be milder in the north-west, where there'll be cloudier skies to limit the frost.

🔵 Read our weather forecast live blog for the latest updates

His colleague, chief meteorologist Steve Ramsdale, said: "A change in conditions brings cold air to the UK.

"It'll spread from the north later on Wednesday then lingering over England and Wales for the rest of the week and into the weekend.

"With easing winds and good clear spells, a widespread frost is likely on Thursday and Friday morning with temperatures recovering somewhat by day."

And forecaster Stephen Partridge urged Brits to get "the big coats out" during the bitter weather.

Temperatures won't rise beyond 5C for the next couple of days, he warned.

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Meanwhile, it's predicted that snow will fall in London before the end of the winter.

Flurries are expected to hit the capital on February 9.

Before that, however, parts of Scotland and the north-east will face a battering on January 28.

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