HAMPSHIRE commuters heading to the north of the county face a nightmare journey this morning as snow starts to fall.

Drivers are urged to take extra care out on the roads during the rush hour as sleet and snow showers hit the M3 and A34.

Snow has been reported north of Fleet on the M3 and between Liphook and Guildford on the A3 and is also causing problems on the railways towards London.

Some snow showers have also been reported as far south as Winchester and the Met Office is reporting that some sleet and snow is likely in Southampton.

That snow is unlikely to last though as sunshine is predicted for this afternoon, however there is the possibility of wintry showers developing into the evening, when temperatures could sink as a low as -4C.

Michael Dukes, director of forecasting at MeteoGroup, the weather division of the Press Association, said the cold snap was due to remain for ''some time yet''.

''There has been a band of sleet and snow moving through parts of the east Midlands, east England and south east England late in the night, towards morning,'' he said.

''It has produced only one or two centimetres in places, it is not very much. Most of the snow has been on higher ground but there has been a little bit of snow on lower ground as well.

''This band of sleet and snow in the South East is moving out of the way in the next hour or so and many places today will be bright and sunny but cold.

''The exception to that is the North Sea coastal areas because there will be further sleet and snow showers in the counties bordering the North Sea.

''Other areas will be mostly sunny.''

The snow and icy conditions are causing delays for Hampshire commuters trying to get to London by train.

Operators are reporting delays of up to two hours on the main line between Southampton and Waterloo.

Wintry weather has caused major problems on the rails around Woking.

South West Trains passengers are being urged to only travel if necessary, but are being told they can use alternative First Great Western and Southern services as well as London Underground and buses on all “reasonable routes” they find as diversions.

South West Trains is warning commuters to expect delays to last throughout the day.
Snow has already fallen in parts of northern Hampshire and Surrey today, and the Met Office is forecasting temperatures will not get above 3C, although wind chill will make it feel significantly colder.