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Met office says snow and gale force winds are to hit Dorset
11:04am Sunday 10th March 2013 in News
DORSET residents are bracing themselves to wake up to snow and gale force winds early tomorrow.
People who packed away their winter coats this week could be in for a shock on Monday morning with snow forecast, gale force winds and freezing temperatures.
The Met Office has issued a yellow snow alert from 3am on Monday, with blizzards expected over several hours on Monday, as rain clouds from a depression over the Channel meet cold winds from the east.
Thanks to the easterly wind, with gusts of up to 34mph expected on Sunday night, and up to 43mph on Monday, the apparent temperature with wind chill on both days will drop to around -9 degrees Celsius.
The Met Office said that the worst of the snow will hit around rush hour but will continue during the day.
Temperatures are set to fall to -1 C at about 9am before rising slightly during the day and then plunging again at night although it will feel much colder because of the wind.
If the forecast is correct it will be the first time snow has fallen in March in Dorset since 2009.
However Met Office spokesman Charlie Powell said it was not unusual for the time of year.
“March can feel quite Summery when clear as the sun is a little higher in the sky, but if there are cold winds it will quickly get very wintery again,” he said.
“Because the sun is higher there is more moisture in the air which can cause more rainfall, so March weather is often variable.
“Temperatures have been in the early teens in Dorset this week, and next week they will be lower than -2 degrees, but last year we saw a similar variation with one week hitting the early twenties and the next cold.
"Regardless of whether it snows it will be bitterly cold and very windy.”
Local authorities are preparing for the worst. A spokesman for Dorset County Council said: “Our gritting fleet will be continue to be on standby. ”
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