GRITTERS will be out on the major roads in Hampshire tonight.

Temperatures are set to plummet to close to zero last night and below freezing in rural areas and could bring the year's first dusting of sleet and snow.

The cold snap comes after heavy downpours and 60mph winds which uprooted trees and caused flooding, power cuts and damage to some buildings today and yesterday.

The Met Office has warned motorists and pedestrians to prepare for treacherous ice on roads and pavements as some of the surface water freezes over.

Southampton City Council highways department is sending out gritters to treat priority routes after 10pm tonight while Hampshire County Council says it is gritting many coastal routes.

Meanwhile trains have been cancelled between Romsey and Easteligh via Chandlers Ford due to fallen power cables.

The cold snap is being driven by icy winds blasting across the Atlantic Ocean from Canada and a Met Office spokesman said: “The next few days are going to be very wintery with cold conditions likely to bring the first bit of snow this year in southern parts.”