Scotland weather: Parts of country to be hit by up to 8 inches of snow

The heaviest snow of the winter will turn Scotland white tomorrow, leading to atrocious conditions on the country’s roads.

Weathermen say up to eight inches of the white stuff could fall on higher ground in the Highlands, cutting off some communities and potentially stranding drivers in their vehicles.

But while northern parts will feel the worst of today’s weather, the morning commute in the central belt was forecast to bring “additional complications.”

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The only good news from the Met Office came in the removal of a 70mph wind warning, which is now deemed to be redundant.

The warning period starts three hours earlier, now at 3am, and has been extended until 10pm.

“Almost everyone in Scotland will see snow at some point on Monday,” said Martin Bowles of the Met Office.

“It won’t settle much in low-lying areas but above 300m (1000 feet) we can expect 10 to 20cm (four to eight inches) on top of what has already fallen.

“With this volume of snow on higher routes, we expect this to become a significant event.”

A low pressure system coming in from the Atlantic is carrying large amounts of moisture, which will turn to snow as soon as it comes into contact with cold air over Scotland.

The first flurries can be expected from 3am today in the south west of the country, slowly spreading north eastwards towards the central belt by morning rush hour.

The snow will turn to rain in southern Scotland by lunch time but will continue to snow north of Stirlingshire and Perthshire right up until 10pm tonight.

The Met Office warning suggests:

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Possible travel delays, with drivers and passengers stranded in their vehicles

Delays and cancellations to rail and air travel

Some rural communities could become cut off

Power cuts as heavy snow settles on electricity lines

Although the warning is currently coded yellow ‘be aware’, the ‘impact’ sits high on the Met Office disruption matrix, putting it very close to amber ‘be prepared.’

Dan Suri is a chief forecaster at the Met Office. He said:“This low-pressure system will bring a lot of moisture into contact with the relatively cold air across the northern half of the UK.

“This brings wintry conditions to an extending from East Yorkshire to North Lancashire across into Northern Ireland and northwards to Scotland.

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“For some, snowfall could coincide with the Monday rush hour, bringing additional complications.”

A West Lothian family had a lucky escape when a tall tree crashed onto their blue Ford on Friday, just as they were preparing to set off on a family weekend.

The Richards family from Bo'ness had packed their car when they heard a noise which sounded like a “lorry crash” outside.

When they went outside, they discovered their car had been totally destroyed, with branches piercing the windscreen and crushing the bonnet and roof.

Angela Richards said:”My nerves are still shot. We could all have been in the car and it certainly could have been fatal - if not all of us then some.

“If my young son had been in the car, he would have had some serious injuries from this as his car seat was covered in glass and tree debris.

“As it is, we only have to deal with the mental trauma. My daughter saw the tree fall onto the car too.”

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Last night, road maintenance companies were mobilising for a busy night. Scotland TranServ said that with temperatures falling and snow forecast, 30 gritters would be out overnight.

BEAR North West began their road-clearing duties early, at 2pm yesterday, and said they would have 45 vehicles out on the roads.

BEAR M80 tweeted:”M80 expected to have some heavy sleet and snow, especially during the morning rush hour.”

Yesterday, some roads and bridges were still feeling the after-effects of strong winds and flooding over the weekend.

The A92 Tay Road Bridge was closed to double decker buses yesterday, with a 30mph speed restriction in place.

A temporary closure was in place at Langbank in Renfrewshire in an attempt to clear floodwater which had inundated the road on Saturday.

Significant disruption continued to hit train services yesterday. The line was closed between Perth and Stirling while flood damage to the Mill O’ Keir viaduct was still being assessed.

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Scotrail reported ‘major disruption’ between Glasgow and Aberdeen, Helensburgh to Edinburgh via Bathgate, Edinburgh to Inverness and Inverness to Kyle of Lochalsh.

Network Rail said repair work is now underway on the railway between Kilmarnock and Dumfries, which saw services suspended on February 10 due to Storm Ciara.

Oliver Mundell, MSP for Dumfriesshire, visited the site of the landslide to see the damage first hand and to meet the team undertaking the repairs.

He said:”I am grateful to Network Rail for the opportunity to come on site and see the damage caused by Storm Ciara and hear what is involved in rebuilding the embankment and reinstating the railway line.

“It is apparent that the damage is severe and it makes you appreciate the force of the river and the destructive power it had when fuelled by the extreme wet weather.”

The Scottish Environment Protection Agency still had four flood alerts and 10 flood warnings in place last night, mostly for places like Callander in Stirlingshire, Aviemore in Inverness-shire, the Upper Tay and Balloch near Loch Lomond.

Some ferry services were able to resume yesterday however this morning’s 7am Cal Mac sailing from Port Ellen to Kennacraig has been cancelled because the vessel was prevented from berthing on Islay, due to stormy seas.

Three day forecast:

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Today: Snow moving north east becomes very heavy in the Highlands. Max 6C (42F) Min Minus 1C (30F)

Tuesday: Colder, with wintry showers. Winds easing down. Max 6C (42F) Min Minus 2C (28F)

Wednesday: Showers of rain, sleet and snow. Cold by night. Max 6C (42F) Min Minus 2C (28F)

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