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Amber level weather alert issued across Kent

By Anna MacSwan

A severe weather warning is in place for Kent for the next few days.

A level three cold weather alert has been issued by the Met Office following forecasts of cold temperatures during the day and night, with significant wind chill.

Today is expected to be brighter than yesterday, with a maximum temperature of 4°C, but there could be further snow showers.

A severe cold weather alert is in place
A severe cold weather alert is in place

A yellow "be prepared" warning has been issued for snow and ice across most of Kent.

Forecasters say sleet and snow showers are possible later today and into tomorrow, with some small accumulations likely.

A Met Office spokesman said: "Expect some delays to travel, while untreated surfaces become icy, leading to an increased risk of accidents or injuries."

The area affected by the warning: Image courtesy the Met Office
The area affected by the warning: Image courtesy the Met Office

The warning, which affects the north and east of the county, is in place from 3pm today until 10am tomorrow.

Kent County Council has issued advice to help residents keep warm and well, particularly the elderly and very young.

It says the ideal indoor temperature is 18-21°C (65-75°F) and advises anyone trying to save fuel to heat their living room during the day, the bathroom when needed and the bedroom just before going to sleep.

Peter Oakford, KCC Cabinet Member for Public Health, said: “It is vital that during this prolonged period of severe weather, people act to keep themselves and their home warm – even if this is just by heating the bedroom and living room.

"We’re also urging people to assist their local community – is there someone you can help by bringing in groceries? Every year, cold weather leads to extra deaths and taking measures to stay warm and work with others, can make a life-changing difference.”

More information is available about how to keep yourself and others safe during cold weather at www.kent.gov.uk/winterhealth.

What is a cold weather alert?

A cold weather alert is issued by the Met Office when severe cold weather is likely to significantly affect people's health. There are four level of response based on temperatures and other weather threats such as ice and snow.

Green - winter preparedness and action

The minimum state of vigilance during the winter. Health and social care services make sure that people are aware of and prepared for cold weather risks.

Yellow - alert and readiness

Triggered by the Met Office if there is a risk of 60% or above for heavy snow and/or widespread ice, or average temperatures below 2 degrees Celsius for 48 hours or longer. Health and social care services will be working to ensure readiness and swift action to reduce harm from a potential period of cold weather.

Amber - severe weather action

Triggered by the Met Office when there is heavy snow and/or widespread ice, or average temperatures below 2 degrees Celsius for 48 hours or longer. This stage requires health and social care services to take action to support people who are particularly vulnerable, such as the elderly and very young.

Red - national emergency

Declared when a period of cold weather is so severe or prolonged that there are health risks to the fit and healthy, and not just high-risk groups. Its effects extend outside the health and social care system. A red alert would be issued with or on advice from the government.

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