HIGH winds, stormy seas, blizzards, black ice and slush has caused major disruption across Scotland for a second day running – with forecasters warning of more to come later in the week.
• 18 schools closed in Dumfries and Galloway region
• Mortlach Primary and Knockando Primary in Moray have been closed because of the adverse weather conditions
• Police warnings as snow on roads and freezing conditions make driving difficult
• Forth Road Bridge closed to high-sided vehicles and Edinburgh Zoo closed to visitors
High winds, stormy seas, blizzards, black ice and slush has caused major disruption across Scotland for a second day running – with forecasters warning of more to come later in the week.
The Met Office has issued yellow “be prepared” snow and ice warnings throughout most of the country, with the Highlands and Islands and Dumfries and Galloway being worst hit.
Thousands of schoolchildren had the day off following white-out conditions, and travellers on the roads and ferries were also being affected.
Dumfries and Galloway saw a large number of roads closed because HGV’s became stuck, or jack-knifed, in the snow and 23 schools were shut because of the weather.
Police in the region described conditions as “treacherous”.
The Dumfries campus of Dumfries and Galloway College was also closed.
A small number schools were also forced to close in the Moray and Highland regions and one in West Lothian.
Blizzard conditions affected many of the country’s major routes.
A lorry overturned on the M74 in Dumfries and Galloway and a lorry fire closed the A90 near Perth.
Black ice was believed to have caused accidents on the M90 at Kinross and the A94 at Perth aerodrome, where a car had overturned.
There were also closures on the A93 at Spittal of Glenshee and the A939 Ballater to Corgaff road.
Glasgow was hit by blizzard conditions in the early morning.
On the west coast, Cal Mac tried to re-establish services but a forecast of 57mph winds kept many boats in harbour. Sailings were cancelled in Oban, Tiree, Mallaig, Armadale, Canna and Coll.
A CalMac spokesman said:”High winds are continuing to cause delays and cancellations in many parts of network, and although conditions are generally far less severe than yesterday, strong winds are forecast to return later to many parts.
“As a result, services are prone to delay or cancellation at short notice, and ferry travellers are being advised to check our website for the latest service information.”
NorthLink were running restricted services between Aberdeen, Shetland and Orkney, with last night’s departure from the Granite city to Lerwick cancelled.
Many roads in the Highlands and Islands, particularly in Lochaber, were covered by half a metre of snow, but forecasters are warning melting snow during the day may turn to ice overnight as freezing conditions set in.
On Fair Isle, locals were lucky to escape when a massive wave smashed down a wall at South Lighthouse, with debris being washed over 200 yards onland. It could be seen approaching the island for an hour before hitting land.
Local weatherman Dave Wheeler said: “There had been four or five locals down watching the sea earlier, and thank goodness they left. Who knows what could have happened?
“The Met Office described the sea state as phenomenal with waves of 48ft-plus.”
Leon Brown, meteorologist at The Weather Channel, said parts of the country would still have to cope with further disruption later this week.
He said: “There will be Northerly winds across the UK for Wednesday with some sleet and snow showers in the east. Widespread frost Wednesday night.
“On Thursday, fronts move over the west with some sleet and snow for central and eastern Ireland and a little sleet and hill snow reaching western Scotland.
“Frosty again Thursday night, temperatures down to minus 6C in Scotland. A few wintry showers around in the east on Friday, but most places dry and bright, but cold.
“Next week looks like starting very cold and frosty with a few snow showers near eastern coasts, but generally fine and quite sunny away from the east. Overnight temperatures as low as -10C where there is still snow on the ground.”
Thurso man named
Meanwhile, Northern Constabulary named an elderly man who was discovered
in freezing temperatures in a boating pond in Thurso last week.
He was retired bus driver Alexander MacGregor, aged 83, from the town’s Oldfield Court.
Mr MacGregor - who was known as Doug or Dougie - was well known throughout Caithness and walked with a zimmer frame which was found near his body.
Mr MacGregor, whose wife died last month, is survived by a son, James, who also lives in Thurso.