WEATHER UPDATE: Ice and snow warning as Dorset continues to shiver

Dorset Echo: HAZARDOUS: Student Frederick Lloyd's picture of the road into West Lulworth HAZARDOUS: Student Frederick Lloyd's picture of the road into West Lulworth

SHIVERING Dorset is set for more wild winter weather following an ice-cold weekend when temperatures dropped to as much as -6C degrees.

The county is on ice alert Monday and snow showers are expected in both Weymouth and Dorchester, the Met Office said.

Drivers are being urged to take care as sub-zero temperatures make conditions hazardous on the roads.

Snow at the end of last week caused disruption on the roads and railways and closed many schools and council facilities. The weekend was mainly snow-free, although snow was still around on high ground.

Weymouth’s home clash against Frome Town was called off on Saturday due to the freezing conditions. Temperatures were expected to dip to -6C in the Dorchester area on Sunday evening.

A Met Office amber ice warning has been put in place for Monday.

In anticipation, South West Trains is planning a revised Weymouth-Waterloo timetable.

Met Office forecasts predict snow showers in Weymouth on Monday afternoon, with temperatures just below freezing throughout the day. There is a risk of localised snowfall of up to three centimetres.

Dorchester weatherman John Oliver said temperatures went down to -2°C on Saturday night but climbed to freezing on Sunday afternoon.

He added we can expect more of the same for the next day or two at least.

Weymouth weatherman Bob Poots said: “On Saturday night the air temperature was -1.1C which is the only time this year the air temperature has been below zero degrees.”

The changes to Waterloo rail services will allow more time for trains to cope with difficult weather conditions. Trains will generally run every hour from Weymouth instead of every half-hour. There are no reports of disruption on the Weymouth to Bristol line.

Jake Kelly, customer service director for the South West Trains-Network Rail Alliance, said: “Over the past few days, many parts of the UK have experienced heavy snow and freezing weather conditions which have affected road transport as well as a number of rail services and airlines.

“Our network saw heavy snowfall on Sunday and freezing temperatures are forecast for Monday.

“As a result, we have taken the decision to put a special timetable in place.”

West Dorset residents have made the most of the weather with many sending photos of snowy scenes to the Dorset Echo website.

But motorists and walkers are urged to put safety first and travel with caution in icy conditions. County council gritting lorries will be out from 4am treating roads.

South West Ambulance Service is urging people to ‘choose well’ by only making journeys that are essential during periods of adverse weather and taking extra care when walking on icy surfaces to prevent accidents.

Wildlife lovers are asked to take extra care of feathered friends by making sure bird feeders are stocked with high energy foods. Richard James, an RSPB wildlife advisor, said: “The sudden drop in temperatures across the UK will have been a big shock to birds’ systems. Thanks to the recent mild weather, many natural food sources have been readily available and water has been easy to come by. ”

Stay up to date with all the latest winter weather news, travel updates and school closures by visiting: dorsetecho.co.uk/snow

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