The disruption: Motorists warned to expect 'black Thursday'
RUSH-hour chaos could hit Scotland again on Thursday as more wintry weather blasts in from the Arctic.
The Met Office said more snow and widespread icy conditions would be accompanied by plummeting temperatures that would last until at least the weekend.
The new weather warning came just as Scotland's roads and railways were returning to normal after a week of disruption caused by heavy snow during last Monday's morning peak. Motorways and other major routes across the Central Belt were gridlocked after several lorries jack-knifed, leaving thousands of motorists stranded or forced to abandon their vehicles.
The Met Office said a band of rain, sleet and snow would push south across the country on Thursday, leaving widespread ice, with temperatures dipping sharply as strong northerly winds set in. Snow showers will follow, especially across northern and western Scotland, and Northern Ireland.
Chief forecaster Steve Willington said: "Following the rain and snow on Thursday, skies are expected to clear rapidly, with widespread ice likely to form quickly. This could lead to disruption to travel networks, potentially through the morning rush-hour in Scotland.
"Snow showers are then likely to spread across many places exposed to the northerly wind, especially northern and western parts of the UK later on Thursday and through Friday."
Edinburgh city council urged residents to follow its "Snow Code", which includes avoiding parking cars where they could block gritters and buses, and clearing snow around homes and businesses as soon as possible.
BAA, which runs Edinburgh, Glasgow and Aberdeen airports, said it was preparing for the wintry onslaught. A spokesman said fuel and de-icer stocks were being replenished, snow-clearing equipment overhauled, with brushes replaced, and crews rested.
ScotRail, which operates most of Scotland's trains, is fitting unique heated "skirts" to its carriages following successful trials at the weekend.
The devices, which involve hot air being blown under the skirts to defrost ice-clogged trains, are aimed at speeding up the process, after many trains were left out of action over the past two weeks.
The train company has also doubled the number of high-pressure water jets at depots to remove compacted ice, while depot heating has also been increased.
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Weather for Edinburgh
Wednesday 19 June 2013
Temperature: 9 C to 18 C
Wind Speed: 16 mph
Wind direction: West
Temperature: 12 C to 20 C
Wind Speed: 8 mph
Wind direction: East