Snow this week will bring good news for Scotland’s ski centres, while flood-ravaged areas enjoy a respite with drier conditions.
The more settled outlook from the Met Office came after snow, rain and gale warnings caused hazardous driving conditions yesterday.
The agency said snow was expected to be largely confined to the hills, but might reach lower levels later in the week. Nevis Range yesterday joined the CairnGorm mountain and Lecht 2090 centres in opening for skiers, with Glencoe Mountain and Glenshee hoping new snowfall would see them following suit shortly.
Peter Sloss, a forecaster for the Met Office in Aberdeen, said: “The winds are coming round to the north, bringing in much colder air. However, we are not heading into a big freeze – just normal Scottish wintry weather, even if it comes as quite a shock after the mild conditions we have seen.
“The snow that has fallen has settled on the hills, with a lot more snow showers to come.
“There must be a good base level building up on the slopes for the ski season.
”Lower down, any snow will be showery rather than prolonged.”
Mr Sloss said daytime temperatures would average 3-4C, falling overnight in some areas to -6C or lower in the open countryside.
He said: “You could see -10C if there is snow cover, but not where anybody lives.”
The forecaster added that the change would come as a relief after days of incessant rainfall for parts of the country.
He said: “No more heavy and persistent rainfall is forecast, which will give flooded areas a respite.
“The snow will be locked in, so it won’t add to river flows.”
Glencoe Mountain reported: “Unfortunately, still not enough snow for skiing and snowboarding, but a good forecast, so shouldn’t be long now.”
The Glenshee centre said: “The recent snow is drying out to form a reasonable base. With more snow forecast, some runs should be complete in the coming days.”