Page last updated at 19:33 GMT, Wednesday, 7 January 2009

Sea freezes over in Arctic snap


Sea freezes over in cold snap

Sub-zero temperatures have frozen a half-mile (0.8km) stretch of sea off Dorset for what is thought to be the first time in decades.

The ice stretches about 20 yards (18.3m) out to sea from the Sandbanks area of Poole.

Southern England was hit by temperatures of -12C (10.4F) overnight.

Icy roads also caused "treacherous" conditions - a bus carrying schoolchildren was in collision with a car in Wimborne. No-one was hurt.

Twenty children on board the single-decker bus were temporarily stranded when it was in collision with a Ford Fiesta on Rowlands Hill.

Southern England will still be coldest tonight
Gareth Harvey
MeteoGroup UK
A mini-bus later took them to Queen Elizabeth's School in the town.

Dorset Police reported numerous other traffic incidents but no-one was seriously injured.

Residents in Sandbanks, one of the most expensive areas of land in the UK, said they had not seen the sea freeze over there for decades.

Sea off the south coast was known to have frozen in 1991.

Milder weather is predicted but forecasters said driving conditions would continue to be perilous with freezing fog and black ice on roads.

Gareth Harvey, a forecaster for MeteoGroup UK, said: "Southern England will still be coldest tonight but temperatures are unlikely to fall lower than minus 5C (23F).

Frozen fountain in Poole Park
Steve Conway captured this picture in Poole Park on Wednesday
"Fog patches will be freezing and there will still be a lot of ice. This is a dangerous combination."

Earlier on Wednesday, a woman was left shaken when the Toyota car she was driving ended up on its side when it skidded on a roundabout in Boundary Lane, Ringwood.

Two lorries were stranded when they were unable to drive up an icy hill on the A35 at Chideock. Traffic was delayed until they were removed.

A Ford Focus also spun off the road at the Ashley Heath roundabout near the turn-off for Verwood.

Dorset Police urged drivers to take care and leave extra space to the vehicle in front.

The current freezing conditions have been caused by Arctic air sweeping across Scandinavia and over the North Sea.

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Grimsby Telegraph Another freeze warning after thaw - 13 hrs ago
Bournemouth Daily Echo THE DAY THE SEA STOOD STILL - 21 hrs ago
Daily Star Fog and ice warning to drivers - 21 hrs ago

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