Man in the cold with a white beard

What is a Cold Weather Alert?

Cold Weather Alerts are issued by the Met Office when winter weather is most likely to significantly impact people’s health, i.e.

  • when the mean temperature falls below 2°C for 48 hours or longer
  • during heavy snow and/or during widespread ice

Only one of these thresholds needs to be met or exceeded for an alert to be triggered.

What should I do?

Keep warm and well this winter.

As you get older it takes longer to warm up which can be bad for your health. The cold thickens blood and increases blood pressure, and breathing in cold air can increase the risk of chest infections.

The ideal temperature is 64°F (18°C) for your bedroom and 70°F (21°C) for your living room. Check your thermostat or use a room thermometer to monitor temperature, and keep your bedroom window shut on a winter’s night.

If there is anyone you know who might be at risk, make sure they know what to do.

- Download our Winter wrapped up guide for more help and advice (PDF 1MB)

The Met Office

We’re working with the Met Office again this year - to help keep you prepared for cold weather over winter.

Met Office Cold Weather Alerts are a way of warning about cold weather conditions in advance - so you can take extra precautions to keep safe and well. They operate from November 1 to March 31 every year, in association with Public Health England.

The alerts themselves can be found on the Cold Weather Alerts page on the Met Office website, Twitter feed and on TV and radio. You can find out more about the Met Office’s Get Ready for Winter campaign too.

With 24,000 older people dying as a result of cold weather every winter, it is vital that we increase the awareness of the effects of cold weather on health.

Donate to Spread the Warmth

Further information

Downloads

Our Information guides are short and easy to digest, giving a comprehensive overview of the relevant topic. Information sheets and factsheets are longer with more detail, and are aimed at professionals.

You can download other guides in our series from publications

For more information: Call Age UK Advice: 0800 169 6565