Public Health England (PHE) issued a cold weather alert on Saturday (January 18) as forecasters warned of temperatures plunging below freezing across the UK.

The cold snap comes after Storm Brendan swept across parts of the UK last weekend forcing road closures and rail disruption, as well as gales of up to 80mph.

Temperatures are predicted to dip as low as -6C (21.2F) this weekend.

Forecasters said most areas will remain dry and bright with temperatures between 5C and 8C during the day on Saturday and Sunday.

As the evenings arrive however the colder temperatures will too.

Met Office forecaster Mark Wilson said:

"The South West of England could see -2C locally on Saturday (evening) while the West and East Midlands will experience temperatures as low as -3C (26.6F).

"For the rest of the UK temperatures will be around -5C (23F) to -6 (21.2F) in the evenings on Saturday and Sunday."

The PHE warning was issued for the period starting 6pm on Sunday (January 19) to 6pm on Tuesday (January 21).

The organisation urged people to prepare for cold weather conditions and look out for those most at risk.

Dr Owen Landeg, principal environmental public health scientist at PHE, said:

"Below 18 degrees, changes to the body mean that the risk of strokes, heart attacks and chest infections increase so heating homes to this temperature is particularly important to stay well."

The top temperatures in south-east England and the West and East Midlands will be around 8C on Monday (January 20), he said.