Baby It’s Cold Outside – UK Temperatures Plummet Triggering Cold Weather Payments – Scotland Hits -9.1C Overnight

Lady checks wall heater with energy bill in hand

Temperatures in the UK plunged overnight, with temperatures dropping to -9.1C for the Scottish Highlands. The cold weather has prompted the government to provide cold weather benefits to those with the lowest income in certain areas, while millions are struggling to keep their homes warm. A cold weather warning released from the UK Health Security Agency (UKHSA) will last until 9:00 GMT on Monday 12 December.

This is issued whenever temperature is so cold that it could affect the people’s health and wellbeing. The government has initiated £25 Cold Weather payments for individuals who qualify with over 300 districts of postcode. It’s paid for seven days.

The government has triggered £25 Cold Weather Payments for eligible people in more than 300 postcode districts. It is paid for a seven-day period.

The system is different in Scotland, where those on low incomes and benefits may receive the Winter Heating Payment – but this does not depend on how low the temperature gets.

Eligible people for the Cold Weather Payments include those in parts of Cumbria, North East and North West England, West Yorkshire, Greater Manchester, Birmingham, Coventry, Staffordshire and Brecon.

Current forecasts predict unseasonable temperatures – well below average for the time of year – in many places, with the cold weather continuing into next week.

PAImage source, Phil Barnett
Image caption, Wintry scenes near Bassetts Pole on the Warwickshire-Staffordshire border

The Met Office has several severe weather warnings in place – including across the western and eastern coasts of England and Wales, parts of Northern Ireland and northern Scotland – as temperatures dipped widely to -6C and -7C across much of the UK overnight into Thursday.

BBC weather presenter Carol Kirkwood said the UK experienced the coldest night of the season so far on Wednesday, adding it would get colder over the coming days and nights.

Thursday will be “dry, sunny and cold with a few wintry showers, mainly on the hills”, she said, with snow pushing south across Scotland and into north-east England later, she said.

The weather warnings in place include:

  • A yellow weather warning for snow and ice in place until noon on Friday for northern Scotland
  • A yellow warning for ice also applies to Wales, north-west England, south-west England, the West Midlands and most of Northern Ireland until 18:00 on Thursday
  • A yellow warning for ice covering the East Midlands, East of England, north-east England, south-west Scotland and the Lothian borders and Yorkshire and Humber until 12:00 on Thursday
  • A yellow warning for ice covering the East Midlands, East of England, north-east England, north-west England, south-west Scotland and the Lothian borders and Yorkshire and Humber until 12:00 on Friday

BBC weather forecaster Simon King warned temperatures could plummet to -10C on Thursday night, with a risk of slippery surfaces caused by hard frost, following the quick drop in temperature.

He said: “It’s a very cold day to come, where in some areas of Scotland and north east of England, temperatures won’t get past freezing.”

The Met Office has warned people to take care on the ice, with the risk of injuries and slips on icy surfaces heightened on Thursday morning.

Frost in Yorkshire on WednesdayImage source, PA Media
Image caption, As temperatures drop, overnight frosts are expected across the country

The UKHSA has reiterated its long-standing advice for people who cannot heat every room – saying they should warm the living room during the day and bedrooms just before going to sleep, ideally to at least 18C.

Dr Agostinho Sousa of the 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.”


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How can I keep my baby warm?

Babies and children under five are more at risk in cold weather.

One of the best ways to keep babies warm is to use layers, the NHS advises on its website.

At night it is better to adjust the temperature by using a number of lightweight blankets.

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In Natalie McNab’s living room in County Durham, a coal fire glows cosily but the rest of the house is chilly.

The mother-of-three explained that the central heating “just isn’t going on”. Instead, she is keeping one room warm for her family by day and turns on oil heaters for the children overnight.

Her daughter has an ear infection she is struggling to shift. “I feel incredibly guilty as a mam. We’re trying as much as we can to mitigate the rises and penny-pinch where we can, but it’s only going to get worse.”

She explained that, since both she and her husband are in work and not on benefits, they are not eligible for much of the extra support available.

Natalie McNab in her living room
Image caption, Natalie McNab says every penny that can be pinched has been, and now heating costs are beginning to bite

The cold weather alert for England also requires health care providers to activate special plans, such as arranging gritting services to allow access to critical services and to cover pedestrian hotspots.

But many local councils in England and Wales – who have collectively stockpiled 1.4 million tonnes of salt for this winter – said they were struggling to attract and retain gritter drivers.

Motorists are being advised to keep warm clothes, blankets and flasks of tea in their vehicles. The RAC said people driving in frosty, icy conditions should prepare to keep warm in the event of breakdowns, which are expected to surge this week.

Sheffield City Council has declared a major incident as hundreds of properties wait for their gas supply to be restored after a water leak.

Residents have been told to stagger the use of tumble dryers, cookers, dishwashers and other appliances that use a large energy supply while the leak is fixed.

And an emergency protocol in London has been activated to provide extra accommodation for rough sleepers.

How are you keeping warm? Will you be receiving a cold weather payment? Please share your experiences, tips and questions by emailing

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Source: UK weather: Freezing conditions trigger cold weather payments – BBC News

By George Bowden & Rebecca Wearn – BBC News

Posted in Energy News.