DORSET is set to shiver with temperatures expected to dip to almost freezing as winter arrives this weekend.

The overnight temperature in Dorset will be as low as one degree during the next few days, but a Met Office spokesman said it will feel colder.

The agency has said there are ‘uncertainties’ over what the weather will bring and temperatures are set to stay below average for November.

Dorset County Council said it was fully prepared for the winter after widespread gritting problems last year sparking complaints.

A spokesman said: “We think it will be cold enough tonight and Saturday to send out the gritters.

“We are ready – everything’s well and truly in place. We’re ready to go at a moment’s notice.”

Weymouth weatherman Bob Poots said: “The general opinion is that it will get colder with more sunshine than we have seen lately and when the pressure falls at the beginning of November the rain will return, so time to dig out the winter clothing.

“We have already had the wettest summer on Weymouth’s records and are lacking in sunshine.

“Let’s hope the final two months of the year send us some cheer.”

Making sure vehicles are safe on the roads should be a priority, motoring experts have warned.

Weymouth garage owner Nigel Dowsett, of Dowsett Motors, said: “Check your tyres – make sure they have enough tread.

“Make sure your window wipers work and that you’ve got enough anti-freeze.

“Also, and very importantly, check your lights. Make sure they are all in good working order.”

And there are several ways wildlife lovers can look after creatures that don’t have a warm house or a warm bath.

Staff at Dorset Wildlife Trust centres in the borough are busy looking after natural habitats for wildlife and have issued tips for homeowners who want to look after animals in their gardens.

Conservation officer Sam Dallimore said: “Don’t be too tidy on the garden, leave dead plants if you can, as lots of animals like frogs, toads and newts hide amongst shrubbery and foliage.

“Plus many beneficial insects tuck themselves away inside the stems of dead plants.

“If you have room, creating piles of leaves and twigs for hedgehogs is a great idea, as they are decreasing in numbers across the country.

“Also you could provide roosting places for birds – dense shrubbery, ivy and other climbers on trees, fences and buildings, or roosting pockets and bird boxes.

“If it’s really cold birds often use nest boxes for shelter.

Cold Weather Adivce From Age UK

  • Heat your living room to 18C-21C (64F-70F) and the rest of the house to at least 16C (61F).
  • Set the timer on your heating to come on before you wake up and switch off when you go to bed.
  • Try to keep the temperature above 18C (65F) in your bedroom overnight.
  • Wrap up warm. Several thin layers are better than one thick one. Remember a hat, scarf and gloves when you go out and wear bed socks and thermal underwear at night.
  • Eat well. Have plenty of hot food and drinks. Regular meals will help maintain your energy levels.
  • Keep moving. Exercise is good for keeping you warm in winter. Try to move around at least once an hour.
  • Anyone worried about an elderly person is asked to contact Age UK by calling 0800 169 8787.