Dorchester residents awake to wintry scenes

PRETTY: Snow covers the rooftops and the railway line in Dorchester

PRETTY: Snow covers the rooftops and the railway line in Dorchester

First published in News Dorset Echo: Photograph of the Author by , Chief Reporter

RESIDENTS woke up to a snowy surprise as flurries settled across the Dorchester area and the north of the county yesterday.

Roads, fields and buildings were painted white as spring’s unseasonable weather continued.

The Met Office issued a yellow warning for snow over the weekend as heavy hail, sleet and snow showers fell across the area.

People took advantage of the impromptu snow shower and enjoyed the wintry weather.

Readers in the north of the county, Kevin and Amber Harrison, enjoyed a white walk at Castle Hill, Shaftesbury.

Mrs Harrison said: “We were treated to unexpected snow in thick flurries.”

But on the roads motorists faced disruption due to hazardous driving conditions on the A37 near to the Holywell Cross junction, near Evershot.

The B3081 at East Melbury was closed at the zig zag hill junction and there was flooding on the main road in West Stafford, near to the West Stafford village junction.

Dorset County Council gritters were on the roads in the early hours of yesterday morning and again a few hours later as drivers were urged to take caution.

Dorchester weatherman John Oliver said that although the snow was a surprise, temperatures were not out of the ordinary.

He added: “The snow amounted to around a centimetre. The temperature just dropped low enough for snow to fall but it never actually dropped to zero.

“The cause of the snow was nothing out of the ordinary, it was just where the temperature dropped low enough for the rain to turn to snow and then back to rain again.

“It was quite heavy when it fell and obviously at a greater rate than it was able to melt, so that’s why it settled.”

While parks, fields and gardens in the Dorchester area were covered with snow, it missed Bridport, Weymouth and Portlan d which experience heavy sleet and rain.

Today is expected to be cloudy with sunny intervals and rain showers. Tuesday will be similar, with heavier rain and unsettled conditions expected towards the end of the week.

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