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- We bring you the latest weather news as the county prepares itself for a cold snap. Please send us your updates and pictures to firstname.lastname@example.org, or on Twitter @dorsetecho or by using the hashtag #dorsetweather
The Met Office has issued an amber weaher warning for Dorset tomorrow.
A band of snow, heavy in places, will spread northeastwards across Wales and the southwestern half of England, during Friday morning, lasting through the afternoon and evening across much of Wales, the Midlands, southern and parts of southeast England. Winds will strengthen, leading to drifting of lying snow.
Many areas across the country are likely to have 20-30 cm of snow with strong southeasterly winds causing blizzards, severe drifting of lying snow and thus severe disruption. The public should avoid all non-essential journeys.
Elsewhere, accumulations of more than 5-10 cm of snow will occur quite widely, with 15 cm in some western parts of the Amber area, falling within 3-6 hours. The public should be prepared for disruption, including altering travel plans.
South West Trains is advising passengers that a revised Weymouth to Waterloo service is planned for tomorrow as a result of the forecast for severe weather and heavy snowfall.
A severe weather warning of heavy snow has been issued for South West England on Friday 18 January, which includes the South West Trains network area. Heavy snowfall and blizzards have been predicted, which could affect train services.
Jake Kelly, Customer Service Director for the South West Trains-Network Rail Alliance, said: “Over the past few days, we have been carefully monitoring the weather forecast to enable us to make a decision about the level of service we should plan to run. With severe weather warnings in place for heavy snow on our network, we have taken the decision to put a special timetable in place for Friday 18 January.
“We know that what our passengers want most is certainty about when and how they are going to get to their destination. This special timetable helps ensure this by running slightly fewer services and allowing more time for trains to cope with poor conditions.
“In addition, it allows us to avoid train crew being in the wrong place which can cause further disruption.
“The revised timetable we have in place for Friday will help to ensure we make best use of our resources to deliver the most robust service we can for passengers should the forecasts prove accurate and will help our passengers plan ahead."
Revised timetables are available online at www.southwesttrains.co.uk
Sleet and Rain in Dorset right now, its right mixture of Snow, Sleet and Rain so no idea what you are going to actually see!— @WhatsonWeymouth 17 January 2013
January 18, 2013 at 09:00AM Rain/Snow, 3 - http://t.co/8RoxZl47— @weymouthweather 17 January 2013
Advice from the Highways Agency to stay safe in the snow tomorrow is to be prepared.
Make sure your vehicle has an ice scraper, de-icer, warm clothes and blankets, a torch with spare batteries, boots, a first aid kit, jump leads, a shovel and a road atlas in case of emergencies.
Sunglasses, food, a thermos flask and any medication regularly taken by the driver or passengers is also a good idea.
BEWARE: now forecast 4 #Dorset Fri. Some areas to be worse than others. Be prepared: http://t.co/vFf4qShP MT @dorsetpolice @DorsetRoadSafe— @HillsideVets1 17 January 2013
THE Met Office is advising that severe weather is forecast for the weekend.
A yellow warning telling residents to be aware has been given out for the whole country - including Dorset - for tomorrow between 4am and 6pm.
Severe weather warnings are also in place for Saturday and Sunday, for north Dorset.
RT @WhatsonWeymouth: In anticipation of bad weather on Friday to help you could use hashtag #DorsetWeather the Echo are collating all information for LIVE Blog— @DorsetEchoRach 16 January 2013
RT @WhatsonWeymouth: Having all the info available during extreme bad weather is becoming more & more important and Twitter is the perfect tool for this.— @Guernseyevacuee 16 January 2013
'BE aware' is the message being put out as Dorset prepares for snow and a potential blizzard.
The Met Office has put out a severe weather warning for the region, valid Friday, advising residents to be aware that dramatic weather in on its way.
Gritting teams are gearing up to pour more than 100 tonnes of salt onto the county's roads tonight and are on standby around the clock as the cold snap continues.
A spokeswoman for Dorset Police said that, while no incidents were believed to have been caused by ice yesterday, there were 'icy pockets' on roads.
She said: “We are generally advising people to take care on the roads.”
The ice caused rush-hour misery on Tuesday when the cold snap hit, with numerous accidents causing slow moving traffic across the county.
A spokesman for Dorset County Council, who is responsible for 680 miles of major routes in Dorset, said: “Our gritting teams went out at 7pm yesterday, and were on standby to go out again at 4am this morning.
“They put down 100 tonnes onto the main network yesterday to keep drivers safe, as well as a further 60 tonnes on link routes between villages.”
Gritters are called into action when conditions are damp and road temperatures are forecast near freezing, or before snow.
While the forecast remains cold for tomorrow, temperatures are set to plummet on Friday with the Met Office warning that snow and blizzards are 'likely'.
The warning states: “As the weather breaks down, an area of snow looks increasingly likely to spread from the southwest.
“Winds will strengthen and blizzard conditions are likely, especially over high ground.
“Accumulations of more than 10 to 15cm of snow could well occur quite widely, with the risk of 25cm or more over high ground.
“Clearly there is some potential for some severe disruption, and the public are advised to watch for updates to this warning, and to be prepared to alter travel plans.”
The warning is in place from 4am until 6pm Friday.
GRITTING teams will be out in Dorset from 7pm tonight.
A spokesman for Dorset County Council, who are responsible for 680 miles of roads across the county, said gritting teams will be out from 7pm tonight and on standby for 4am tomorrow to make the roads safe.
More than 100 tonnes of salt have been poured onto the main routes today, with a further 60 tonnes on link roads between villages.
GUIDE about staying well during cold weather.
NHS Dorset has released this handy guide that can be downloaded here http://t.co/QNa498p1
It includes the financial aspects regarding heating your home as well as the safety ones.
A short guide for keeping warm is below.
Keep warm indoors
Try and keep your home heated to between 18 and 21 degrees Celsius. To help you monitor your home, free thermometer cards are available through a variety of outlets across Dorset including community hospitals, GP surgeries, pharmacies and local voluntary organisations. Make sure you keep warm by:
• Wearing several thin layers rather than one thick layer
• Covering up your head and neck by wearing a hat and scarf
• Wearing clothes made from wool, cotton or fleecy fabrics
• Drawing your curtains at dusk to stop the heat escaping and the draughts coming in
• Closing windows and keeping internal doors closed when it’s cold
• Using a shawl or blanket to provide extra warmth if you need it
• Keeping your feet up, because air is cooler at ground level
• Wearing warm clothes in bed - when it’s really cold, wear thermal underwear, bed socks and even a hat.
RT @HealthyDorset: Cold weather forecast for the weekend; be prepared http://t.co/QNa498p1 & watch the forecast @metofficeUK http://t.co/9nJfyTgT #dorsetwinter— @DorsetCCG 11 January 2013
Latest weather for Dorchester
SNOW is possible tonight forecasts the MET Office.
Here si their latest update
A cold start, with a widespread frost away from the far west. Here, rain will ease as the morning progresses. Most places remaining dry with some sunny spells. The chance of a few showers along the south coast. Maximum Temperature 6 °C.
Cold, with a frost returning for most. Freezing fog patches forming in the east. Cloud amounts increasing overnight in the west with some patchy light rain or hill snow possible. Minimum Temperature -4 °C.
Remaining cold and rather cloudy, with any patchy light rain and hill snow easing in the west. Becoming windy, with rain and snow returning from the west overnight. Maximum Temperature 7 °C.
Outlook for Friday to Sunday:
Remaining cold and windy. Outbreaks of sleet and snow spreading northeast through Friday and Saturday. Further rain and hill snow is then likely Sunday. Overnight frost and ice in east.
Issued at: 0400 on Wed 16 Jan 2013
For the latest weather update follow our dedicated service
Cue much excitement in the office; it's snowing!— @Bournemouthecho 16 January 2013
THE RSPB is asking people to help the birds during this cold snap.
With sub zero temperatures suddenly upon us, the RSPB is advising people to make sure their bird feeders and tables are full of high energy foods.
Richard James, one of the RSPB's wildlife advisors, said: “The sudden drop in temperatures across the UK will have been a big shock to birds' systems after spending the past couple of months with few worries in terms of food availability.
"Thanks to the recent mild weather, many natural food sources have been readily available and water has been easy to come by.
Now the snow and ice are here birds will need all the help they can get to survive the winter.”
The RSPB suggests calorie-rich foods like mixed seed, nyjer seed, fatballs, suet sprinkles, sunflower seed and good quality peanuts, as well as kitchen scraps, like mild grated cheese, rice and porridge oats.
Cold outside but no snow in Blandford #dorsetweather— @shazzeth 15 January 2013