Heavy snow and severe cold to sweep region at start of 'Beast from the East' cold snap
PUBLISHED: 07:41 22 February 2018 | UPDATED: 15:44 22 February 2018
Archant © 2018
A weather warning for severe cold and heavy snow has been put in place for the region this weekend.
The Met Office has issued the level two warning for many areas of the country, including the east of England.
It says there is an 80pc chance of “severe cold weather/icy conditions/heavy snow” between 9am on Friday, February 23 and 12pm on Monday, February 26.
“This weather could increase the health risks to vulnerable patients and disrupt the delivery of services,” the Met Office said.
The weather will likely remain dry until Sunday, when snow showers will become more likely.
The body said it would review the weather warning on Friday, and assess whether to extend it into the week.
The conditions will be caused by a sudden stratospheric warming, caused by a rise in air temperature around the North Pole. It will result in cold air sweeping in from Siberia, forecasters say.
Forecasters have warned that the cold snap - dubbed the Beast from the East - could last into March.
Earlier this week, Dr Thomas Waite, of Public Health England’s extreme events team, urged people to check on friends, family and neighbours during the cold snap, and to make sure their homes are heated to at least 18C.
He said: “With the days feeling a little longer and lighter it can be easy to forget that cold weather can still kill.
“Over 65s, those with conditions like heart and lung diseases and young children, are all at particular risk in cold weather as their bodies struggle to cope when temperatures fall.”