RESIDENTS in the New Forest and Christchurch are expected to face a freezing start to the weekend tomorrow (Saturday) with a weather warning for ice.
The Met Office included the local area in a low-level yellow alert issued for the whole of England and Wales, highlighting the risk to motorists, in particular.
It said that as well as the likelihood of ice there was also the chance of sleet and snow moving southwards.
It said: “Icy stretches may lead to some difficult driving conditions” and cautioned the public against potential injuries from slips and falls on slippery surfaces, as well as icy patches on some untreated roads, pavements and cycle paths.
The conditions were expected to last from about midnight tonight to 11am tomorrow morning.
The Met Office said: “Outbreaks of rain, sleet and snow will clear southwards during the early hours of Saturday, but some showers will affect coastal districts.
“Where skies clear, icy stretches are likely to form on untreated surfaces.”
Hampshire County Council expected the cold snap to last until Sunday, and was sending out its gritting teams today (Friday).
HCC transport boss Councillor Rob Humby said: “While the roads are seeing less traffic than usual as Hampshire residents stay at home to help curb the spread of coronavirus, it is important we continue to salt the roads people are using most – including hospitals and healthcare centres and surgeries which people may be travelling to when they are called for a vaccination, and schools which remain open for the children of critical workers.”
He continued: “I would urge everyone to take care when out travelling for essential reasons or for daily exercise; and remember surfaces may be icy and slippery, and conditions foggy with limited visibility at times.”
The county’s public health boss Councillor Judith Grajewski also asked residents to keep an eye on those who are vulnerable to the cold, such as the very young or old, and those with certain medical conditions.
She said: “It’s important for everyone to look after themselves in the cold weather, but particularly so for people who are more vulnerable to suffering ill health in low temperatures, such as babies and very young children, older people and people with pre-existing medical conditions such as asthma, chronic obstructive pulmonary disease or diabetes.”
Those worried about an elderly neighbour or relative should call the Hampshire Coronavirus Support and Helpline on 0333 370 4000. For the duration of the national lockdown, the helpline is open Monday to Friday 9am-5pm, and weekends 10am-3pm. Out of hours, call 0300 555 1373.