A cold weather alert has been issued for Suffolk as freezing temperatures and snow have been forecast for the county. 

Temperatures are expected to plummet below freezing in the region with the alert in place between Wednesday and Monday, December 12. 

It comes after weather forecasters said temperatures could reach as low as -7C this week with some snowfall also predicted. 

This weather could increase the health risks to vulnerable patients and disrupt the delivery of services, the alert said.

People are also being reminded to keep their homes heated to at least 18C - particularly if they have reduced mobility, are 65 or older, or have a health condition.

The cold weather is expected to hit Suffolk on Wednesday evening and into Thursday morning as air from the arctic is forecast to sweep across the UK bringing below-freezing temperatures. 

The Met Office said that very cold nights are expected with “widespread and potentially severe frosts”.

Daytime temperatures are expected to be near or just above freezing.

Wintry showers are also likely to affect some coasts, perhaps pushing into some inland areas at times, bringing a risk of icy patches.

The RAC has advised motorists to check their vehicles are “winter ready”, with properly inflated tyres that have good tread.

Rod Dennis, RAC spokesperson, said: “With temperatures plummeting this week, many drivers might be taken aback by the cold after an exceptionally mild autumn.

“Drivers with older batteries in their cars might also wish to give their vehicle a 20-minute drive before colder conditions arrive to ensure the battery can cope with sub-zero temperatures.”

With temperatures expected to drop tonight, gritters will be going out to treat priority one roads from 8pm.