A COLD weather alert has been issued for Essex with freezing temperatures predicted over the coming days.

The county is among a number of areas in the country covered by the alert, which is in place between 6pm tonight and 9am Sunday (January 23).

The Met Office forecast suggests temperatures in Essex will struggle to get above 6c in the coming days, and some areas will record temperatures below freezing in the coming nights.

Steve Ramsdale, Met Office Chief Meteorologist, said: “A change in conditions brings cold air to the UK, spreading 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.

“Into the weekend more cloud is likely to spread over England and Wales with less of a frost by night.”

The UK Health Security Agency, which has issued the alert, is asking people to think about ways to stay warm during the cold snap.

It also asks people to check on elderly relatives, friends and neighbours who may be more vulnerable to the freezing temperatures.

Consultant in Public Health Medicine Agostinho Sousa said: “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.

“Remind vulnerable relatives and neighbours to heat their home to at least 18°C – 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.”