ARCTIC snows are heading to Huddersfield as Yorkshire braces itself for temperatures predicted to drop as low as -14ºC.

The elderly in particular have been warned to take extra care against the bitter wintry conditions now moving south from Scotland.

Snow began falling in the Highlands yesterday, hitting Holmfirth today, and is due to blast all parts of England tomorrow. The cold snap should end on Friday.

Pensioners have been urged to wrap up warmly while their relatives have been told to stay extra-vigilant.

Lorraine Donaldson, Kirklees Council's energy efficiency officer said: "We are all more likely to catch colds or flu; and if your body temperature drops then this increases the risks of a heart attack, stroke or breathing difficulties.

"This is particularly true for older people, or if you have a chronic disease, or are vulnerable due to a physical disability.

"The best way to combat winter is to keep warm and follow as healthy a lifestyle as possible. What you eat and drink, and the exercise you take, can make a big difference."

The Faculty of Public Health has reported that about 40,000 more people die needlessly in cold weather every year.

Those at risk are advised to avoid unnecessary journeys in the cold, wrap up carefully in plenty of layers when outside and wear warm clothing inside.

Drivers, too, are being advised to take care and avoid unnecessary journeys and stick to major roads if they must go out.

Householders are being urged to keep the heating on low at night and when out at work, to prevent burst pipes.

England's record low was -26.1ºC at Newport in Shropshire, on January 10, 1982.

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