Scotland's weather: Snow and gale warning from Storm Doris

Transport disruption is likely, the Met Office has warned drivers. Picture: Press Association

Transport disruption is likely, the Met Office has warned drivers. Picture: Press Association

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A severe weather warning for snow to fall over much of Scotland on Thursday was issued today by the Met Office.

The agency warned of transport disruption and power cuts were likely because of winds of up to 60mph, and possible flooding from heavy rain.

A yellow - be aware - warning has been issued for most of mainland Scotland, with an amber - be prepared - alert for parts of England and Wales. Picture: Met Office

A yellow - be aware - warning has been issued for most of mainland Scotland, with an amber - be prepared - alert for parts of England and Wales. Picture: Met Office

Up to 5cm of snow is expected to fall at low levels north of the Central Belt, with up to 20cm on hills.

However, worse conditions are expected across the English Midlands and north Wales, where an amber - "be prepared" - warning for Storm Doris has also been issued.

Met Office chief meteorologist Steve Willington said: “We have named Storm Doris as we expect winds of up to 80mph, heavy rain and some snowfall to cause disruption across some central and northern parts of the UK on Thursday.

“Currently, the most likely track of the low pressure system is across Northern Ireland and northern England, and we expect to see the strongest winds in the north of Wales and central England.

The expected strongest winds and heaviest snow on Thursday. Picture: Met Office

The expected strongest winds and heaviest snow on Thursday. Picture: Met Office

"As well as heavy rain, as the low pressure system moves eastwards it will draw down cold air from the north which will cause some of this precipitation to fall as snow across parts of northern England and Scotland."

The yellow - "be aware" - warning for Scotland will be in force from 2am to 6pm on Thursday for most of mainland Scotland apart from northern Aberdeenshire and the northern Highlands.

A Met Office spokeswoman said: "Snow is expected over high ground of northern England and Scotland on Thursday and may fall to low levels for a time in Scotland.

"Snow accumulations of 5 to 10cm are expected on some hills with 2 to 5cm possible to lower levels to the north of the Central Lowlands.

"The largest accumulations of 10 to 20cm are likely on highest parts of the north Pennines and Southern Uplands.

"In addition, strong winds are expected to develop with gusts of 50 to 60 mph.

"This will result in drifting of the snow and blizzard conditions over high ground.

"Associated heavy rain at lower levels will be an additional hazard.

"The combination of snow, strong winds and heavy rain is likely to lead to disruption to transport networks and perhaps power supplies."

The Met Office chief forecaster added: "A developing area of low pressure is expected to move across the UK on Thursday.

"The exact timings and track of this system remain uncertain, but it looks likely that this will push across cold air in place over the northern half of the UK, allowing for precipitation to fall as snow over high ground at least.

"There is then the potential for snow to come down to lower levels at times in heavier precipitation, perhaps more so as the system clears to the east.

"In addition, heavy rain may lead to some localised flooding at lower levels."

The amber warning for England includes gusts of up to 80 mph, which the Met Office warned could damage buildings, and cause power cuts and and widespread travel disruption, with a danger of injury from flying debris.

A separate yellow warning for severe gales gusting to 80mph has been issued by the Met Office for Orkney, southern Shetland, the north coast of the mainland and the north-east tip of Aberdeenshire from 3am to 3pm tomorrow.

The ScotRail Alliance with Network Rail has already cancelled several trains north of Ardgay or Lairg on the Far North Line between Inverness and Wick/Thurso "due to forecasted severe weather".

Flights, ferries and road travel could also be disrupted.

The agency's spokeswoman said: "West to northwesterly severe gales are expected for a time on Wednesday, bringing gusts of 65-70 mph and locally 75-80 mph over parts of the Northern Isles.

"A swathe of very strong winds is expected to affect Orkney, southern parts of Shetland and the far north of mainland Scotland early on Wednesday, easing from the west through the morning."These will however briefly clip the far north east of Aberdeenshire around the middle of the day."

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