Christmas Day 2023 was a mild one - much warmer than in previous years,

The temperature hit 13.6C (56.5F) at Exeter Airport - making it officially the warmest Christmas Day since 2016.

So December 25, 2023 was a long way away from the snow-covered scenes on our Christmas cards.

But back in 1982 it was a different story not long after the festive season.

Click into our picture gallery above to see images of snow in Dorset in 1982 full-sized. 

‘The big freeze of 1982 ’brought hurricane-strength winds and heavy snow and ice on the roads.

As you can see from these photos, taken in January 1982, Weymouth experienced more than a dusting of snow.

One of the images shows some people in Weymouth town centre braving the snow.

On the corner of St Thomas and St Edmund Streets, a motorist is trying to gingerly make their way past two parked cars in blizzard-like conditions.

Familiar to us from today, on the right is the Marlboro fish and chip shop, while the building on the left is the long-gone and fondly remembered Wimpy restaurant.

Straight ahead at the end of the street is the Maiden Street Methodist Church, pictured in its full glory before it was a victim of fire in 2002 and left as a roofless shell.

Another picture shows fun being had in the snow in Preston and Sutton Poyntz while another image shows snow-covered homes and sledging fun being towed along behind a bicycle.

We also bring you the unusual sight of Weymouth beach covered in snow.

In March 1982 the Dorset Daily Echo reported that the costs of snow clearing and road gritting for the winter could have already cost £588,000.

"This is already £233,000 more than the sum allowed for in the total county budget for maintenance based on a "normal winter," said county surveyor Mr Geoffrey Vizard."

The article also highlighted the fact that the "county's stock of 20,000 tonnes of road salt has been used so far this winter."

The first few days of January 1982 were mild and wet. Then on the 6th the wind changed to a north-easterly and the overnight temperature fell to -4c.

On the following day the wind got up and cloud increased throughout the day, the temperature failed to exceed -1c and overnight despite the complete cloud cover it fell to -5c.

An Atlantic depression moved into the Southwest Approaches; heavy snow accompanied by a gale force easterly wind produced one of the most severe blizzards of the century across southern England, the Midlands, Wales and Ireland.

The wind freshened further and veered easterly and throughout the 8th and 9th a blizzard raged across the countryside.

Throughout the snowfall, which lasted over 36 hours, temperatures were between -2 and -4C so the snow was dry and powdery and drifted freely in the wind. Transport services were completely dislocated over a wide area and millions of commuters failed to get to work in London two days running. South Wales was isolated.

Milder air reached Cornwall and south Devon, but heavy rain falling onto frozen ground in mid-Devon, south Somerset and west Dorset created extensive glazed ice in these areas.

Warmer weather returned after mid-month and the rest of the winter was mild and snow-free.