COMMUTERS across central and southern Scotland face potential snow disruption during this afternoon’s rush hour, with the Met Office signalling it may raise the alert level from yellow to amber – or “be prepared”.
The current severe weather warning is in force until midnight tomorrow, covering the whole of Scotland, Northern Ireland and northern England.
A Met Office spokesman said: “Showers are expected to turn to snow across parts of northern Scotland during Wednesday morning, the risk then transferring to other areas through the rest of the day, continuing overnight and for much of Thursday.
“Over Scotland, 5-10cm may fall, even at some lower levels, with more than 15cm possible over higher ground.
“Strong, gusty winds will lead to drifting and temporary blizzards over high ground, while icy surfaces and lightning pose additional risks in some areas.
“More frequent snow showers may affect parts of southern and central Scotland through the evening peak travel period, and this may lead to eventual issue of an amber warning. The public should be aware of the potential for disruption to travel.”
He added: “Commuters and other travellers seem likely to face a variety of winter hazards, especially later on Wednesday and early on Thursday, although it’s likely that snowfall in some areas may be more patchy, particularly towards the east.”
BEAR Scotland, which maintains trunk roads across northern Scotland, said routes would be salted from 4am today.
Up to 90 vehicles, including five fast tractors, will work around the clock to clear snow and rescue drivers stuck in drifts.
Spokesman Eddie Ross said: “We urge road users to drive to the conditions as this further period of wintry weather sets in. The conditions may be favourable at the start of your journey. However, they are likely to change, so tuning into radio updates or social media is important.”
Transport minister Derek Mackay said: “A wide range of agencies and organisations are putting their response plans into action following the Met Office yellow warning for snow across much of the country.
“Drivers should listen to police advice and travel with caution, leave some extra time for their journeys and make sure their vehicle is well maintained, with an emergency kit.
“Passengers should check their travel operator’s website before they leave and be mindful conditions could deteriorate into Wednesday afternoon.”
CalMac has put several of its west coast ferry routes on amber alert amid forecasts of 50mph winds, with some sailings already cancelled for today.
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