ALERTS ISSUED: Impending 'beast' from Russia bears hours of snow and killer chill

Are you ready for the 'beast from the east'?
Are you ready for the 'beast from the east'?

The UK is bracing itself for the coldest spell of weather in years.

Freezing air from Russia is heading towards the country.

By Monday it will turn very cold in what is likely to be the start of the chilliest spell of the winter.

Public Health England and the Met Office have issued a level three cold weather alert which is set to remain in place until next Thursday.

Meanwhile, the Met Office has issued snow warnings for Derbyshire.

READ MORE: RUSSIAN 'BEAST' IMMINENT: Potentially heavy snow prophesied for Derbyshire over next three days

READ MORE: LATEST FORECAST: Expect snow on these days and times in Chesterfield

The cold snap is dubbed the 'beast from the east'.

A Met Office spokesman said: "March 1 is the start of meteorological spring - but this year the first week of March is likely to feel distinctly wintry.

"The cold easterly wind will bring a significant wind chill which will make it feel several degrees colder than thermometers indicate.

"Even without the wind chill some locations will struggle to get above 0C by day, with night-time temperatures ranging down to -8C quite widely.

"There are signs that the cold spell in the UK is likely to last well into next week and perhaps into the following week.

"There is potential for this cold spell to be the coldest for several years in the south.

"The Met Office is working with partners in road, rail and air transport to help minimize the impacts on the public."

Dr Thomas Waite, of Public Health England's extreme events team, said: "With the days feeling a little longer and lighter it can be easy to forget that cold weather can still kill.

"Over 65s, young children and those with conditions like heart and lung diseases are all at particular risk in cold weather as their bodies struggle to cope when temperatures fall.

"So before it gets cold check on friends, family and neighbours who may be at risk and make sure they're heating homes to at least 18C, see if they need any particular help or just someone to talk to and keep an eye on the Met Office's forecasts and warnings.

"Remember keeping warm will help keep you well."