PARTS of Scotland face at least another three days of snow chaos after heavy falls closed at least 135 schools and clogged roads yesterday.
Further Met Office yellow – “be aware” – alerts have been issued for tomorrow, Sunday and Monday across the north and west.
The agency warned of more blizzards and “large accumulations” of snow in places.
Its current yellow warning, for the whole country, remains in force until 11am today.
That follows 23cm (9in) of snow falling in Tulloch Bridge, east of Fort William, by early yesterday, and 9cm (3.5in) in Aviemore.
Thousands of pupils were affected by school closures, with some 80 shut in Dumfries and Galloway, more than 40 in the Highlands, and others in South Lanarkshire, Argyll and Bute, the Borders and South Ayrshire.
Driving conditions were described as “very challenging” on many routes, with large tailbacks, including on the M74 in South Lanarkshire.
The A75 was blocked by lorries at Carrutherstown, six miles west of Annan.
In Fife, a man was taken to hospital following a collision involving a bus and two cars in wintry conditions on the A92 between Lochgelly and Kirkcaldy.
A Royal Navy helicopter from HMS Gannet at Prestwick also airlifted an unconscious toddler to hospital after an ambulance got stuck on its way to his home near Newcastleton in the Borders.
The one-year-old was taken to the Cumberland Infirmary in Carlisle from his remote farmhouse in Whisgills, which was surrounded by snow.
A local doctor managed to get to the house to check on the child before the helicopter arrived.
The child was said to be alert when he reached the hospital.
A Glasgow-based air ambulance had been unable to fly in the driving snow showers sweeping west and central Scotland.
Earlier, a missing woman was found unconscious following a three-hour search in blizzard conditions on Wednesday night near Innerleithen in the Borders.
Tweed Valley mountain rescue team, a search and rescue dog and a helicopter from HMS Gannet took part in the operation.
The woman was found 30ft off a forest track and airlifted to hospital.
Deputy team leader Dave Wright said: “The conditions were pretty bad with strong winds and driving snow – it’s safe to say the combined efforts saved the woman’s life.”
Some 200 ScottishPower customers also saw their electricity supply cut, including in Dumfries and Galloway and South Ayrshire.
A spokesman for Prime Minister David Cameron, who had asked for updates on the snowfall which also hit northern England, said: “There had been some small electricity disruption in Scotland, but homes there had their power restored.”
On the railways, a build-up of snow on points at junctions caused disruption around Glasgow Central and Rutherglen stations.
Trains on the Dumfries-Carlisle line were delayed while tree branches weighed down with snow were cut back near Annan.
CalMac cancelled some ferry sailings on west coast routes, including to Arran, with knock-on disruption expected today. NorthLink, which operates ferries to Orkney and Shetland, said: “Due to the adverse weather forecast on Saturday, all sailings on the Pentland Firth route are under review.”
South of the Border, Manchester Airport was forced to suspend take-offs and landings while snow was cleared from the runway. More than a dozen train services were cancelled between Manchester and York. Heavy snow forced the closure of main roads in Durham and Yorkshire.
The next Met Office yellow warning is in force from noon to midnight tomorrow, north from Tayside and along the west coast as far south as Kintyre.
A third yellow warning, for Sunday and Monday, covers the same area plus east and west coasts further south.
The Met Office said: “Further snow showers will affect parts of Scotland and Northern Ireland from Saturday afternoon and through Sunday, leading to some locally large accumulations.
“These will be associated with strong winds, so drifting and temporary blizzard conditions are likely. Snow showers are likely to continue to affect similar areas into Monday, bringing further accumulations.
“There is the potential for disruption throughout this period due to the accumulating snow and ice but also with temporary blizzard conditions leading to very difficult driving conditions.”
However, the snowfall was good news for skiers, with picture-perfect conditions after up to 10in (25.4cm) fell on Britain’s highest mountain range.
Heather Negus, for the Nevis Range ski centre, near Ben Nevis, said skiers were “having a ball” on the slopes of Aonach Mor.
The Glencoe mountain resort also reported excellent snow-cover for skiing.
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