More than 10,000 children missed school yesterday as the north and east of Scotland was hit by whiteout conditions.
School transport systems failed to cope with the wintry blast, heating systems packed in with the cold and the supply of school meals was interrupted.
In total, around 71 schools shut their doors to pupils and teachers in the Highlands, Aberdeenshire and Moray. This follows three days of school closures last week. Some of the region’s main arteries became blocked by jack-knifing lorries yesterday, with the A96 particularly vulnerable around the Keith and Fochabers area. Multiple accidents occurred on the road, including an oil tanker which came to grief one mile south of Huntly.
At Drummuir, in Moray, a gritter lorry came off the road on the approach to a bridge. Moray Council said no-one was hurt in the accident.
A spokesman said: “Our gritter teams are out in all conditions endeavouring to make the roads safer for drivers, but as no-one grits the roads for the gritters there will be mishaps.
“This vehicle has slid into a ditch. Thankfully the driver suffered no injuries. Once we have pulled the vehicle out we can assess any damage.”
Large swathes of northern and north eastern Scotland had been under a yellow “be aware” Met Office warning for snow and ice since 9pm on Sunday.
While much of southern Scotland enjoyed a sunny day yesterday, extreme conditions were experienced as far south as the Firth of Forth.
The A9000 Forth Road Bridge had to be closed to double-decker buses due to high winds.
There was further disruption on the A876 Clackmannanshire Bridge and the A898 Erskine Bridge but these were due to broken down vehicles.
The A9 was blocked due to an accident and deteriorating weather conditions at Inshes in Inverness.
Nicky Maxey of the Met Office said the severe weather in the north of Scotland was due to a final blast of polar maritime air from the north.
Although today will start with a widespread frost, with overnight temperatures hovering around -13C in Aviemore, milder air from the Atlantic feeds in as we go through the week.
Mrs Maxey said: “On Friday, and again on Saturday, Glasgow could hit 10C (50F) which is positively balmy for this time of year.”