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Second night of freezing temperatures to hit UK

A yellow weather warning has been issued for the length of the western side of Britain and Northern Ireland from 10pm on Saturday until 10am on Sunday.

People around Britain have been warned to brace themselves for a second night of freezing temperatures following an icy start to the weekend.

The mercury could dip to minus three degrees in sheltered spots, while health watchdogs have urged people to prepare for a prolonged cold snap.

Sheep in a snow-covered field near Ribblehead in the Yorkshire Dales National Park (Danny Lawson/PA)

Figures earlier this week showed there were more than 34,000 “excess deaths” across England and Wales over the last winter period, the second highest level in eight years.

Public Health England has now warned those most at risk to take precautions.

Dr Thomas Waite, of the body’s Extreme Events team, said: “We’re well used to winter in this country so most people know what to do to protect their health before and during cold spells.

“But there are people who may not take precautions and who are at a very real risk.

“We know that every winter thousands of people fall ill and many die because of exposure to cold both in the home and while outdoors.

“Those most at risk include older people, very young children and those with conditions like heart and lung disease.”

On Saturday there were smatterings of snow in parts of Scotland and the West Midlands, with more forecast for higher parts of Wales, the Pennines and parts of Northern Ireland overnight.

A yellow weather warning has been issued for the length of the western side of Britain and Northern Ireland from 10pm on Saturday until 10am on Sunday, alerting people to the risk of ice.

Steven Keates, a meteorologist with the Met Office, said: “We’re looking at a cold start for tomorrow morning with bands of showers coming in from the north-west.

“There will be a few showers around at first but it will be brighter later in the day and it will be dry for most places.”

“As the wind eases off it shouldn’t feel quite as cold as Saturday, but it will still be cold.”

A milder day is expected on Monday, before a prolonged period of low temperatures throughout the coming week and the following week.

Rail travel was disrupted on some southern and south eastern services on Saturday morning and National Rail advised passengers to check their routes before travelling on Sunday.

A Network Rail spokesperson said: “During low temperatures electrical third rails, which power trains in parts of the country – mainly the south of England – can become icy, preventing trains from getting power.

“De-icing trains run overnight to keep the rail free of ice but services can be affected.”

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