The Burnham-On-Sea area is set to see its coldest February week in five years as freezing air arrives into the area from Russia.

The cold snap is affecting the whole of the country with temperatures expected to drop to below -6C in the Burnham-On-Sea area, with the significant wind chill making it feel much colder.

The Met Office has issued an amber cold weather alert which warns of increased health risks to vulnerable and elderly people.

The Burnham-On-Sea area could see light snow flurries in the middle of next week with heavier snow a possibility later in the week, says the Met Office.

The meteorological start of spring is Thursday 1st March – and the date will fall right in the middle of the cold spell.

The cold weather has been sparked by an area of high pressure moving north into Scandinavia, drawing cold air in from Russia and the east.

Met Office meteorologist Martin Bowles said: “It’s expected to stay cold all of next week. The start of Spring will be postponed.”

Public Health England said it is “critical” to keep an eye on anyone over 65, young children or people with heart or lung conditions.

James Mapstone, Deputy Regional Director for Public Health England’s South region, said: “We are expecting some bitter weather over the weekend and early next week which may come as a bit of a shock for some after the more recent mild weather.”

“We urge people to remember to check weather forecasts and plan their day carefully around the weather. Take extra care if outside to prevent any accidental slips from icy or snowy pavements. Clear paths outside your house if possible.”

“When indoors it is critical that people stay warm, particularly if 65 or over, have long term health conditions or are young children. Wear lots of thin layers, eat regular warm and well-balanced meals, and remember that moving about will help keep you warm.”

“Staying warm by heating your home to at least 18C can be crucial to stay well.”