FORECASTERS are predicting that a second storm will roll in from the Atlantic Ocean, as the country reels from the worst effects of the “weather bomb”.
A “brief respite” is to be enjoyed today, before the second stormy system takes hold tomorrow.
Strong to gale-force westerly winds with frequent wintry showers are expected, with snowfall forecast in the south and Borders region later in the week.
The Met Office chief forecaster said: “An area of low pressure has the potential to develop in the mid-Atlantic and then run quickly east-north-east across the northern half of the UK during the first half of Friday.
“This is a complex development and details may yet change. Therefore this alert is likely to be updated in the coming days as confidence grows in track and timing of this system.”
On the likelihood of snow in southern Scotland, he said: “Wintry showers are expected to give some significant snow accumulations, mainly for higher-level routes in Scotland and the north Pennines.
“Here, above 200-300m, expect 5cm to 10cm of snow for parts of Scotland, but more on the mountains, and perhaps 2-4cm over the higher trans-Pennine routes.”
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The Met Office has warned of “unsettled” weather right up to Christmas, with periods of rain and strong winds along with overnight frosts.
Ahead of the oncoming storm, both ScotRail and Network Rail have announced that a full service will run today.
David Dickson, Network Rail route managing director for Scotland, praised the teams working during the recent bad weather.
He said: “Despite gale-force winds and torrential rain – and in some places snow – our teams at strategic points around the network responded quickly to any issues that occurred to minimise disruption and keep trains running.”
Mr Dickson said engineers would be checking overnight that the tracks were safe and repairing any damage before the start of services this morning.
Scottish councils have been keen to stress that they are ready and prepared for the oncoming wintry conditions, with each local authority identifying priority gritting routes in their winter service plans.
Primary routes will be gritted regularly, especially first thing in the morning and at night, under the plans. A secondary salting network covers remaining A and B roads.
Scotland’s depots are filled with about 600,000 tonnes of salt.
Edinburgh city council transport convener Lesley Hinds, said: “We’ve got 16,000 tonnes of salt stockpiled – more than three times the amount we used in the whole of winter 2013-14 – and gritting teams have been patrolling and on standby since late October, responding to the detailed and regular forecasts from the Met Office.”
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