WE’VE had the torrential rain and high winds – now wrap up for the big chill.

Hampshire is set to shiver today as Arctic temperatures grip the county.

Temperatures were set to plummet below freezing last night with rural areas warned to expect to get the year’s first wintery showers.

Gritters were despatched on to major routes last night.

The cold snap comes after heavy downpours and 60mph winds uprooted trees and caused flooding, power cuts and damage to buildings over the weekend.

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.

The cold snap is being driven by icy winds blasting across the Atlantic Ocean from Canada.

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.”

Temperatures will struggle to get above freezing today and although the next two days will be less cold, heavy showers will return tomorrow and a fresh blast of Arctic cold is forecast to hit the region on Thursday.

Around 15 millimetres – about half an inch – of rain fell yesterday, while gales battered the region.

Engineers were last night working to restore power to 500 homes in the New Forest – 24 hours after overhead cables crashed to the ground during strong winds.

They fell at 8am, plunging homes in the Sway area into darkness, although residents experienced disruptions to supplies from as early as 4.30am.

A Scottish and Southern Energy spokeswoman apologised for the delays and said: “We already planned to have extra resources on but the winds were higher than forecast and have caused more damage than expected.”

In Southampton police closed busy Dorset Street at the Charlotte Place roundabout for nearly an hour yesterday after guttering came loose from a building. Fire crews removed the broken structure.

A section of the railway line between Winchester and Micheldever was closed on Saturday after strong winds uprooted several trees.

It was initially suspected to be a mini tornado, but a Met Office spokesman said it was more likely to be caused by down-draughts in the squally winds.

It delayed the 3.35pm South West Trains service from London Waterloo, while trains between Eastleigh and Basingstoke were cancelled before the line reopened at 9pm.

Members of the Young Explorers helped push a stranded Mercedes and other vehicles struggling to drive through flood water under the B3055 Balmer Lawn Road railway bridge near Brockenhurst yesterday.

Last night flood warnings remained in place on the River Meon between Titchfield and Wickham and the River Avon near Ringwood.

There are also flood alerts for parts of the River Itchen from Cheriton to Twyford, at Hursley, Kings Somborne, and Bishops Sutton and the River Meon from East Meon to Wickham.


  • TODAY: Rain with occasionally heavy showers. Temperatures will struggle to rise above 7C (45F) while winds reduce to 21mph.
  • TOMORROW: The risk of 37mph winds brings heavy showers and downpours, with temperatures climbing to 8C (46F).
  • WEDNESDAY: Further heavy showers which will die down in the afternoon with much lighter winds of 15mph, but temperatures dipping to 5C (41F).
  • THURSDAY: Temperatures will dip below freezing overnight and remain around 0C (32F) with clear skies during the day.