A Level 3 warning for “severe” cold weather in has been issued for the North East this week.

The alert has been issued by the UK Health Security Agency covering all of England from 6pm on Wednesday (December 7) evening through to 9am on Monday (December 12).

The weather will take a chilly turn due to an arctic maritime airmass which will push across the UK from the north, bringing some cold days, overnight frosts and a risk of wintry showers and snow.

The Met Office states there is a 90 per cent chance of “severe cold weather and icy conditions” between Wednesday and Monday which pose health risks to vulnerable people.

The deliveries of goods and services could also be disrupted.

The weather forecaster has released advice ahead of the severe weather stating that people should look out for friends and family who may be vulnerable to the cold and ensure they have access to warm food and drinks, as well as managing to heat their homes adequately.

People should try and maintain indoor temperatures to at least 18°C, particularly if they are not mobile, have a long-term illness or are 65 or over.

Avoid exposing yourself to cold or icy outdoor conditions if you are at a higher risk of cold-related illness or falls.

Met Office deputy chief meteorologist, Rebekah Sherwin, said: “Temperatures will start to dip this week, with daytime temperatures struggling to get above freezing in many places from mid-week onwards. However, the cold air from the Arctic will also bring brighter conditions, with some dry, sunny spells in many areas, particularly away from the coast.

“Showers will turn more wintry as the week goes on with a risk of snow at times. A yellow National Severe Weather Warning for snow has been issued for Wednesday covering northern Scotland. We can expect to see some snow and wintry showers further south as the week progresses, particularly in coastal areas or over higher ground. There will be widespread frosts with temperatures falling to as low as -10°C overnight in isolated spots by the end of the week.”

Dr Agostinho Sousa, consultant in public health medicine at UKHSA, said: “Cold weather can have serious consequences for health, and older people and those with heart or lung conditions can be particularly at risk.

“If you have a pre-existing medical condition, you should heat your home to a temperature that is comfortable for you. In rooms you mostly use such as the living room or bedroom, try to heat them to at least 18°C if you can. Keep your bedroom windows closed at night. Wearing several layers of clothing will keep you warmer than one thicker layer.”