BBC Weather: Arctic deep freeze to grip UK in 24 hours as -7C plunge sparks health fears

Britain is bracing itself for a dramatic drop in temperatures tonight, sparking alarming health alerts and bizarre TV blackout warnings. Temperatures could plummet to as low as -7C tomorrow, as a freezing Arctic blast sweeps across the country. UK health chiefs have even warned that the cold snap increases the risk of “deadly heart attacks and strokes”.

BBC’s meteorologist Darren Bent said: “After a cold and frosty start this morning most of us should see some sunshine, although there are significant areas of mist and fog.

“There’s some hazardous conditions across a limited part of the UK.

"This will have an impact on those travelling through the M5 and M6, the M56, and regions of Lancashire.

“Further south, temperatures will be around 6C to 8C today, but it will be colder in areas where fog hits."

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He said: “Tonight there is a large area of high pressure, it is very high area of high pressure which is dominating across southern England.

“That high pressure will stay around for the week ahead, bringing a north-south split.

"That will be drawing in Atlantic winds overnight, causing a widespread frost. 

"Temperatures could drop down to -7C in southern England by Monday."

Dr Owen Landeg, principal environmental public health scientist at PHE, said: "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 record high air pressure could also mean a bizarre TV and radioblack out tonight, disrupting prime time schedule shows including Dancing on Ice and Call the Midwife. 

It could affect millions of TV viewers tonight and tomorrow, leaving Freeview, BT, TalkTalk, YouView and Plusnet customers with pixelated images or blackened screens.

Forecasters predict pressure will reach as high as 1050 millibars, close to the all-time record of 1053 millibars which was set in 1902.

MeteoGroup forecaster Mario Cuellar said: "The stronger the air pressure, the greater the impact on TV and radio waves. And the UK could break its 1053.6 millibars pressure record.

"High pressure will cause cold air at ground level and warm air above, which will act like a mirror reflecting and disrupting TV and radio waves."

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