AFTER a prolonged heatwave and the remnants of a hurricane, Dorset experienced what looked like snowfall this morning.

A snow expert has insisted the downfall, spotted in Bournemouth at around 9.40am was in fact melting hail.

Dr Richard Wild, of Bournemouth-based Weathernet , said: “It's hail that started to melt, a bit like sleet.

“A natural, normal snowflake wouldn't have formed at this time based on temperatures etc.

“It's a very common mistake especially when hail is very hard.”

Dr Wilde - who completed a PhD on heavy snowfall and blizzards in Britain from 1861-1999 - said he had seen the same phenomenon on Sunday when large hail was melting on windscreens.