EAST Lancashire residents have been warned to prepare for rapidly dropping temperatures and icy conditions from today.

The Met Office has issued a Yellow Alert across the region with ice expected to be a problem until tomorrow at the earliest.

Forecasters have also said the mercury will not reach higher than three degrees Celsius until Friday.

Heavy rain is expected across East Lancashire during the second half of the week and into the weekend.

Severe rain has already hit the region with Pendle Water at Ball Grove Park, Trawden amongst the areas affected. The water has risen to higher levels than normal with the speed of the water flow also dramatically increasing.

The Environment Agency has said it is monitoring the situation and will decide tomorrow whether to issue warnings and upgrade them to flood warnings. The recent heavy rainfall forced amateur and professional football matches to be called off at the weekend with Accrington Stanley and amateur clubs in Pendle amongst those affected.

Final decisions on whether this weekend’s matches will go ahead are expected towards the end of the week.

A Met Office spokesman said: “We are expecting heavy rain over the next few days with a cold weather front coming in which will make the temperatures drop.

“That will cause an increased risk of ice across the region and we will be monitoring the severity of the situation over the coming days. The heavy rain will increase on Friday and will continue until Sunday.

“People should be aware of slippery conditions on the roads over the next few days.”

A spokesman for the Environment Agency said: “We are expecting heavy rain by the end of the week and into the weekend.

“We will be in a better position on Thursday to make a decision on whether to issue flood warnings.

“Whether we issue a formal warning later in the week will depend on the speeds of the wind on Thursday.”