“IT’S the worst I’ve seen in at least a decade.” 

Those are the words of a Dorset forecaster who says the persistent bad weather lashing the county since before Christmas is the worst he can remember.

And there’s bad news for locals – it won’t get any better until at least mid-February.

Kevin Taylor, of Dorset Weather, said: “It is definitely the worst I have seen since I have been studying the weather, which is 10 years.

“In terms of how sustained this period of wet and windy weather has been, it’s the longest and the worst.”

He said the storms will persist until “at least” the middle of the month.

“It’s not looking any calmer or more settled until then,” he said.

“After that, we’re not sure of what’s going to happen.”

During yesterday’s howling winds, trees toppled, the sea covered roads and flotsam and jetsam washed up on the beaches.

See all our pictures in a storm gallery here

The Sandbanks peninsula was cut off by flooding for a couple of hours after the road was covered by sea at high tide.

A section of highway at Lilliput between Evening Hill and Haven Road was closed after it was swamped by 2ft of water.

Sea water flooded over the sea wall in the high winds and police closed the road near the East Dorset Sailing Club.

It was re-opened around 2pm after being closed off to vehicles from approximately 11.30am.

Wooded Chaddesley Glen at Canford Cliffs was blocked for a while during the afternoon when two trees had to be cleared up.

One had fallen onto the road and had to be chopped up and removed while a second tree was leaning and also had to be taken down and removed.

Borough of Poole said the road was passable with care in mid-afternoon.

Sea swept over the quayside at Poole Quay as the tide rose fuelled by strong winds.

And Hamworthy Park resembled the sea as water flooded over the grass, submerging the paddling pool.