WEATHER forecasters are warning of a cold snap across East Sussex this weekend and going into next week.
Following a long period of mlld conditions during the first two weeks of January, the Met Office has said there is a risk of snow this weekend with temperatures set to drop to minus 2c, but with the windchill they could reach mins 7c.
The Met Office has put Sussex on a cold weather alert as freezing temperatures and snow are on their way from Russia and Scandinavia this weekend.
Temperatures in East Sussex look set to drop tomorrow (Friday January) to 2C and will not rise above 5C, although it will feel more like -1C during the day due to wind chill.
At this stage snow is forecast to fall on Saturday from about 6pm.
Temperatures will not rise above 4C during the day, but could fall as low as 2C. However it will feel more like -4C at night and -2C.
More snow is on the cards in East Sussex on Sunday from 6am to 3pm.
Day time temperatures will struggle to rise above 2C and at times will languish at 0C.
But due to wind chill factor in will feel more like -4C.
Monday looks even colder at this stage, with temperatures between -2C to 0C, but feeling more like -3C to -7C.
The Met Office said while temperatures were set to be much lower than the last week or so, there was a lot of uncertainty about how long the cold weather would stay with us and exactly which areas of the UK would see snow.
The reason for the cold weather is that an area of high pressure develops over Scandinavia, allowing cold air from the Baltic and western Russia to move towards the UK.
At the same time milder air and Atlantic weather systems are trying to push in from the west, leaving the UK as the battle ground where they meet.
Met Office chief forecaster, Paul Gundersen said: “All parts of the UK will see cold weather setting in over the weekend.
“We can expect sleet and snow showers to affect eastern areas at times, but with a battle developing between the cold air in the east and mild air pushing in from the west, no one should be surprised to see sleet or snow over the weekend and next week.”
The Met Office said there was a 70 per cent probability of severe cold weather, icy conditions and heavy snow between 6am on Saturday and 6pm on Monday in parts of England.
This weather could increase the health risks to vulnerable patients and disrupt the delivery of services. It will be a shock for the county too, which has enjoyed mild temperatures for the last two weeks.
The public should keep up to date with the Met Office weather, as the forecast could change.
Meanwhile, the Department of Energy and Climate Change is urging pensioners and vulnerable householders to take advantage of cash help available to keep warm this winter. There are a number of schemes designed to provide support, including money off bills and assistance with central heating and insulation.
East Sussex MP and Energy and Climate Change Minister, Greg Barker, said: “We know people are struggling with rising energy bills but a warm home should be a given, not a luxury. That’s why we want to make sure everyone is aware of the support available, and anyone who thinks they may be eligible for some insulation or new heating kit should call 0300 123 1234 for further advice.”
Mr Barker pointed out how the Government has recently introduced a new Energy Company Obligation aimed at saving carbon and getting efficient boilers and insulation into the homes of vulnerable people. Part of this new scheme is beingly targeted at low income households to help them keep warm and save money on energy bills.
Householders who think they may be eligible for help can contact the Energy Saving Advice Service on 0300 123 1234 for advice.
The last day for new applications to the Warm Front scheme, which gives households the opportunity to get help to improve the heating or insulation of their home, is January 19. After then, help and support will be available to a wider group of vulnerable households under the Energy Company Obligation. For information call 0300 123 1234.
Meanwhile energy bill discounts of £130 are being provided to around 1.1million vulnerable pensioners this winter under the Warm Home Discount scheme. The discount has already been given to over one million pensioners, but a small number may need to provide some further information before they can receive this. All those eligible for the discount will receive a letter by February.
Winter Fuel Payments are made each year to those in receipt of the state pension to help with the cost of energy bills. While cold weather payments are paid to pensioners on pension credit or people on income-related benefits who meet certain criteria during periods of severe cold, to help with the cost of energy bills.