Blizzard conditions are set to blast the Capital tomorrow, with forecasts of potential gale force winds and up to 10cm of snow as the city freezes through this winter’s coldest spell so far.
The Met Office has issued a severe yellow weather warning for Edinburgh and the Lothians, with a widespread rain front poised to hit just after midday.
The weather system is forecast to dump almost 24 hours’ worth of snow on the city, with falls not expected to finish until the early hours of Saturday morning.
Meteorologists have warned of snowdrifts burying many parts of Scotland in the heaviest snowfall since December 2010, with “severe disruption” and the worst snow travel chaos for two years.
Met Office forecaster Charlie Powell said there would be poor visibility, the potential for a lot of snow and chilly temperatures that would leave dangerous ice for motorists and pedestrians in places around the city.
He predicted travel disruptions tomorrow, saying: “There’ll be increasing winds throughout the day ahead of this band of rain that is pushing its way through from the west during Friday morning.
“That’s going to bring the snow, if you like. I think it’ll be afternoon by the time you start to see snowfall mounting up in the city centre, with as much as five to 10cm.
“As you head to the south in the Lothians, as you get to the higher ground there, there could be slightly higher amounts.
“The messages we’re trying to get across to people are to stay up to date as much as they can with our forecasts and warnings.
“We’re asking them to consider journeys from work probably by that time if they’re necessary, or if they’re heading away for the weekend seeing friends and family, that they should just be aware that there’s potential for some quite severe disruption from this snow.
“That’s partly because of the longevity of it and partly because of the strength of the winds, which are likely to be gale force as we head into the daytime.”
Mr Powell said drier conditions forecast for Sunday should then deliver some relief following the severe flurry of snow.
Laura Caldwell, meteorologist from private weather forecaster MeteoGroup, said maximum temperatures would get no higher than 1-2C over coming days.
She said: “It’ll be bitterly cold certainly when that snow comes.”
Edinburgh City Council have stockpiled 19,000 tonnes of salt to combat the cold snap, which is expected to last until next month.
The AA has urged motorists to be prepared before driving.
Darron Burness, head of the AA’s severe weather team, said:“Before heading out, check the Met Office weather alerts and traffic reports and allow a bit more time for your journey, as you don’t want to rush on potentially icy roads.
“Do the basic checks on your car and, in case of any problems, carry plenty of warm clothing, blankets, de-icer and scraper, some food, hot flask and a fully-charged mobile.”