MAKE the most of it - it's the biggest snowfall in Bournemouth for years but it will all be gone by Sunday at the latest.

That's the message from a Bournemouth-based weather forecaster who said the town woke up to between six and 10 centimetres of snow today.

He said the last time the town saw a similar snowfall at this time of year was on December 17, 1997 when around seven centimetres of snow fell in central Bournemouth.

You have to go back to 1994 - February 15 to be precise - to find the last time the town had10 centimetres of snow.

And the town has not seen more than 10 centimetres since January 1985, when the snow was up to 13 centimetres deep.

Dr Richard Wild, senior meteorologist, said the weather will clear this afternoon and the rest of the day will be dry.

Temperatures will plunge overnight to a low of minus four or five degrees Celsius but will rise rapidly during tomorrow day. Further precipitation is anticipated but this could be in the form of snow, sleet or rain.

Black ice is a possibility by dawn on Saturday but the day will be one of the mildest for some time, with rain thawing any ice on roads and pavements.

"All the snow across the area will probably be gone by Sunday at the latest," said Dr Wild. "Make the most of today because it looks like being the best snowfall that Bournemouth has had in the last 13 years."