AFTER the rain...comes the cold.

Dorset is shivering as winter suddenly arrived at the weekend with temperatures plummeting to below zero degrees at night, even near the coast.

It's set to remain very cold for the next couple of days, and the Met Office has issued a weather alert for icy conditions, and even a chance of snow in some areas. The warning is valid until 6pm tomorrow.

Dorset Council gritting teams have been working hard to keep routes clear.

Motorists have been warned however to take care on the roads due to black ice forming, particularly on rural routes in the countryside.

A spokesman for the Met Office said: “High pressure...will bring a spell of dry weather and light winds, with overnight frosts becoming widespread. The cold overnight temperatures will be offset by generally fine daytime conditions with sunny spells.

"However, fog patches will develop across central and southern areas into Monday, suppressing daytime temperatures in places."

While people have been wrapping up warm, they have also been grabbing their cameras to make the most of the winter light and capturing some stunning photographs. See all the pictures on our website at

Dorset & Wiltshire Fire and Rescue Service wants to make sure people stay safe during periods of cold weather and advises residents to take care with fireplaces, portable heaters and electric blankets.

A spokesman for the service said: "Keeping warm in the winter means using portable heaters, electric blankets or wheatbags – but all of these carry a fire risk."

In particular, the service says you should get your electric blankets tested by a qualified electrician at least every three years and replace them every ten years.

As well as safety in the home, the fire service also advises motorists to take extra care in these conditions.

Drivers should give themselves extra time before their journey to clear windscreen and windows fully so there is clear vision all round.

Make sure that you have an emergency kit in your car.

This should include: An ice scraper and de-icer, warm clothes and blankets, torch and spare batteries or a wind-up torch, food and a flask with a hot drink, any medication you need to take regularly, boots, first aid kit, jump leads, a shovel, road atlas, sunglasses and a car charger for your mobile phone.

Further advice can be found at