BLIZZARDS could bring Dorset and Hampshire to a standstill tomorrow, forecasters have warned.

Strong winds, sleet and snow are set to sweep across the country with the south of England expected to get its first major snowfall of the year.

Motorists have been warned to take care and members of the public have been urged to keep an eye on vulnerable neighbours as temperatures plummet.

The mercury is set to remain at freezing point overnight and local authorities are preparing to do their best to keep drivers safe on the roads.

“There is the potential for a spell of snow to spread from the south west,” said a spokesman for the Met Office.

“As winds strengthen, blizzard conditions are a possibility, especially over high ground. Accumulations of two to five centimetres are possible quite widely and in some locations, especially higher ground, 15 centimetres are possible.”

Travel disruption is expected from tomorrow until Sunday with most snow expected to hit Dorset from mid-afternoon tomorrow until midday on Saturday.

And has warned that more snow could hit the area before the month is out. It has warned the white stuff could return after a few slightly warmer days next week.

Age UK has urged elderly people to keep warm. Suggestions include closing bedroom windows at night, wrapping up well when going outside and keeping living rooms at 21C and bedrooms at 18C.

Poole council’s Streetscene manager Simon Legg, told the Daily Echo: “We continue to monitor the forecast and our four gritters are on standby to be sent out at any time.

“During any period of adverse weather our priority remains keeping our main highway network open and we currently have sufficient stocks of salt.

“Should we experience a period of severe weather we urge people using footpaths and roads in the borough to please take extra care.”

Yesterday collection crews in Christchurch and East Dorset had difficulty emptying garden waste bins because they were frozen.

Householders have been told crews will return to attempt to empty them on the next scheduled collection.

Be prepared for bad weather by checking gritting routes, salt bins and our driving tips for snow and ice in our bad weather section.