Authorities have issued a weather warning this evening as heavy snow blankets Birmingham and temperatures plummet.

Light snow flurries and sleet had been falling steadily throughout the day and becoming heavier with snow beginning to stick to surfaces and carpeting the West Midlands in an icy layer which is causing dangerous driving conditions tonight.

The freezing temperatures continue to fall and will reach -1°C – but will feel more like -8°C, says the Met Office – as the cold spell continues into the weekend according to weather experts.

The UK Health Security Agency issued a Level 3 Cold Weather Alert for the whole of the country and warned people to take care and wear an extra layer of clothing when venturing out. There are concerns that tonight’s heavy snowfall will cause travel disruption to the region and also lead to power-cuts.

As some bus services are disrupted tonight in the West Midlands region, commuters are being asked to plan ahead in case of any bus, coach or train delays or cancellations.

Parents have been advised to check school websites for up-to-date information regarding possible closures tomorrow morning, and to keep an eye on children who might be tempted to go to the park or frozen lakes which pose a serious threat to human life in the current icy conditions.

A spokesperson for the Met Office, said: “Heavy snow is likely to cause significant disruption on Thursday afternoon and Friday morning.”

Dr Agostinho Sousa, head of Extreme Events and Health Protection at the UK Health Security Agency, said: “During periods like this, it is important to check in on family, friends and relatives who may be more vulnerable to the cold weather, as it can have a serious impact on health.

“If you have a pre-existing medical condition or are over the age of 65, it is important to try and heat your home to at least 18°C if you can.’’

Pet owners are also advised to be alert and keep cats and dogs indoors until weather conditions improve.

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