Scotland’s weather: Storm heralds hard winter

A snow plough clears the A93 Braemar to Glenshee as wintry conditions are forecast for Scotland. Picture: Getty Images

A snow plough clears the A93 Braemar to Glenshee as wintry conditions are forecast for Scotland. Picture: Getty Images

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AN ATLANTIC storm is set to batter Scotland from tonight with forecasters warning wintry conditions could cause disruption to travel and power supplies.

A Met Office “be aware” alert is in place for high winds from this evening to Thursday ­morning, confirming gusts of up to 80mph in the amber warning area on Wednesday.

A statement said: “Very strong winds are likely to affect northern and central parts of the UK from early Wednesday and last through until early Thursday.

“Very large swell generated over the Atlantic to the south of the very deep depression will lead to exceptionally large waves affecting west coasts.

“There remains some uncertainty in the precise depth of this low and therefore in the exact wind strengths and timings.”

The Met Office said winds would gust to 60-70mph in the yellow warning area.

Waves would also be unusually high, which could flood roads and causeways, particularly along the west and north coasts.

Snow is forecast above 200m (700ft), where up to 10cm (4in) is possible, and more over the mountains.

A spokesman said: “Frequent wintry showers will also bring an additional hazard, mainly over higher ground.

“The public should be aware of the potential for disruption to travel and perhaps also power supplies.”

More snow is expected on Friday, which triggered a further yellow warning to be issued today for an area between Dumfries and Perthshire until 9am.

The Met Office said it could cause hazardous driving conditions and travel disruption.

Its spokesman said: “A period of rainfall is likely to fall as snow over high ground, before transitioning to snow at all levels, during the early hours of Friday morning.

“Snow may be moderate or heavy at times, and may well last for several hours.”

Up to 5cm (2in) could accumulate on lower ground and up to 15cm (6in) above 200m.

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Police dealt with a spate of accidents across the country yesterday. A car and an ambulance collided in ­Dumfries and Galloway. Zoe Clark, 24, of Thornhill was killed. She was driving a Vauxhall Corsa involved in the collision on the A76, five miles south of Mennock.

One of the ambulance crew received a head injury and was airlifted to Dumfries and Galloway Royal Infirmary. The driver of the ambulance and two casualties suffered minor injuries. The ambulance was leaving the scene of an earlier accident when it was involved in the second incident at about 8.40am. It blocked the main road between Dumfries and Kilmarnock for several hours as investigations were carried out.

A Scottish Ambulance Service spokesman said the accident happened while the vehicle was transferring two patients to ­hospital in Dumfries.

Emergency services also went to a crash in central ­Galashiels with two cars and a bus at the junction of Tweed Road and Nether Road at 9.30am. Fire crews cut one driver free.

A Police Scotland spokesman said the freezing conditions had been “making for difficult driving conditions”. The worst snow-affected routes are the A9 at Drumochter, the A85 at Glen Ogle and the A93 between Ballater and ­Glenshee. Icy conditions were also reported on the M8 and many routes across the Highlands, Western Isles and north-east Scotland. The low pressure tracks will tend to be north. Rain and snow in north-west Scotland is expected to be four times the average in the next two weeks.

The Met Office said there is a large and deep area of low pressure passing to the south of Iceland today which will dominate the weather in Scotland for the rest of the week.

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