Afternoon snow update
AFTER significant snowfall late in the morning and early this afternoon, with further flurries still expected, Dorset County Council’s gritting fleet is continuing to salt and plough priority routes.
Much of the snow will begin to clear from the north by 5pm, when only patchy snow will be likely. This evening drivers are being urged to watch out for ice, which will be widespread as the weather stays dry but with freezing road temperatures.
Sunny spells are expected tomorrow morning but it will remain icy. Drivers are advised by the authorities to take extra care if travelling as even treated roads could still have some slippery patches.
The council’s gritters will continue to salt/grit and plough if necessary until snow has stopped around 5pm this afternoon. From 6pm they will start treating priority routes again with a salt/grit mix as a precaution against the freezing overnight temperatures and to give more traction on the roads.
Gritting teams have been instructed to treat secondary roads from midnight tonight. A decision will be made at around 7am tomorrow morning about whether any further action is required.
MUCH of Dorset escaped the snow showers forecast for last night but Dorset County Council gritting crews were in action to keep roads clear of snow where it fell in the north and other parts of the county.
Around 7.5cm of snow fell around Shaftesbury and Gillingham, where roads were ploughed by the county council’s gritters. The treated roads are now passable with care. There was also snow on the A30 Sherborne dual carriageway, which has since cleared.
The county council stood down its snow control centre last night when it became clear from updated forecasts that the snow would not fall on Dorset in such large quantities as expected.
Up to 3cm of snow fell in the Purbeck area and around Lyme Regis and Bridport this morning, as well as on higher ground around the county. Dorchester and Weymouth are clear, as is the Cerne Abbas area.
There is a covering of snow on the A356 at Toller Down and some visible at Organford near Wareham. Cameras show the roads to be clearing as traffic moves over them. No disruption to traffic is expected on the treated network in the early part of this morning.
Last night, Dorset’s gritters salted its priority routes network at 8pm and subsequently carried out a local snow clearance operation in the Purbecks, where one main route became hazardous due to the snow freezing. Crews are currently on standby and ready to go out if required.
The latest forecast is that the band of snow surrounding Dorset will slowly, over a period of three to four hours move southwards across the county. We can expect 1-2cm over the county with increased accumulations of 3-4cm on high ground, especially in the north of the county around Gillingham.
Through the afternoon, the snow clouds will clear away and the danger overnight will be freezing surfaces making untreated roads especially hazardous if they are snow-covered. It is expected that the main roads will be cleared before the afternoon rush hour.
Council officers remain on standby in case more snow arrives than forecast. Some schools and other services across Dorset have been closed due to ice and snow. Information about how all council services are being affected by the weather is being regularly updated at http://www.dorsetforyou.com/winter
These pages include interactive maps showing any closed roads, schools, libraries, day care centres and school bus services not running as well as information on disruption to waste services, adult learning courses, leisure centres and much more. There are also essential tips for safer winter driving and regular updates about road conditions and gritting action, as well as answers to frequently asked questions about gritting.
Schools closed in West Dorset include:
- Beaminster School
- Broadwindsor Primary School
- Charmouth Primary School
- Gryphon School, Sherborne
- Loders Primary School
- Marshwood Primary School
- Mountjoy School, Bridport
- Parrett & Axe Primary School, Mosterton
- Sherborne Learning Centre
- St Mary’s Primary School, Beaminster
- St Mary’s Primary School, Bradford Abbas
- Sticklands Primary School, Evershot
- St Mary’s Primary School, Thorncombe
- Thornford Primary School
- Woodroffe School, Lyme Regis