Scotland’s weather: Get set for snow, ice and fog

The traditional Renfrewshire Boxing Day Hunt gathered today near Houston - but heavy fog forced the event to be cancelled. Picture: Wattie Chung
The traditional Renfrewshire Boxing Day Hunt gathered today near Houston - but heavy fog forced the event to be cancelled. Picture: Wattie Chung
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TRAVELLERS face potential disruption today from snow and ice across Scotland, while rail passengers will be hampered by late-running track work that will shut King’s Cross station in London.

Snow was due to sweep across Scotland last night followed by ice, triggering a severe weather warning from the Met Office.

The yellow – “be aware” – alert, which remains in force until noon today, covers the whole of Scotland apart from the Western Isles, Skye, Coll, Tiree and Islay.

It will be followed by temperatures dipping as low as –4C in places both tonight and tomorrow night.

Up to 10cm (4in) of snow is possible above 200m (700ft) and 2cm at lower levels.

Forecasters said a band of “locally heavy, wintry showers” would spread from the north-west, with snow falling to low levels inland.

A Met Office spokesman said yesterday: “The band will move south-east overnight, showers becoming more scattered and not reaching the Central Belt and east of the country until late in the night.

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“Showers will be mainly a mix of rain and snow over lower levels across the south on Saturday morning, before clearing, leaving only scattered wintry showers around coasts.

“The public should be aware that icy conditions are expected in many places, especially over lying snow.

“But even low-lying parts where rain has fallen will see ice readily form on untreated surfaces as skies clear once showers move away.”

The warning came as the UK’s coldest temperature of the year so far was recorded in Braemar. The mercury hit -8.5C on Thursday night.

Passengers travelling on East Coast main line trains between Scotland and London have been warned of “significant disruption” today because of over-running Christmas engineering work near King’s Cross station in London.

Travellers will be forced to switch to the Underground at Finsbury Park in London because the southern terminus of the east coast main line will remain closed.

A spokesman for Network Rail said: “We apologise that planned track improvements in the King’s Cross area are taking longer than expected to complete.

“Where possible, passengers are being asked to defer their journey to another date.”

Train operator East Coast said it was “clearly disappointed” at the over-run, which it was told about only yesterday afternoon.

The firm expected to carry up to 30,000 passengers today, with some trains between Edinburgh and London 97 per cent full.

The company reserved judgment as to whether the work would be finished in time for even the planned reduced service to and from King’s Cross to operate on Sunday.

Some East Coast trains are due to start and terminate at Doncaster, Newark North Gate, Peterborough or Stevenage instead.

East Coast trains which operate from King’s Cross will leave the station up to 20 minutes early and those arriving will be up to 40 minutes late.

A spokesman for East Coast said: “Whatever the circumstances, things are going to be very challenging over the next two days.”

Yesterday, fog was the main hazard for drivers, with warnings being issued including for the M74 in south-west Scotland – the main cross-Border road.

Fog was also reported on the A90 between Perth and Dundee, and on the M80 between Cumbernauld and Haggs.

Rail passengers suffered disruption because of overhead power line problems at Glasgow Central station, with trains on lines to Gourock, Wemyss Bay, Ardrossan, Largs and Ayr running to and from Paisley Gilmour Street instead.

Last night, flights into Liverpool airport were being diverted to Manchester while snow was cleared off the former’s runway.

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