The mild temperatures Scotland has enjoyed this week are set to end, with Arctic winds bringing ice and snow to the country.
Tomorrow, Storm Caroline will bring a spell of very windy weather to northern Scotland.
Yellow wind warnings will be in place for Highlands, Grampian, Western Isles, Aberdeenshire and the Strathclyde region. Gusts of up to 80 mph are possible near north facing mainland coasts and across the Isles. Road, rail, air and ferry services may be affected, with longer journey times and cancellations possible.
As the week progresses the wind will bring cold air from the Arctic, sending the mercury plummeting by 10 degrees in parts of the country. Snow and ice warnings will be in place for Thursday and Friday.
Forecasters predict up to 2-5 cm of snow is likely in the north west of Scotland with 10-20 cm possible over high ground.
Drivers have been advised by the Met Office to take care on the roads as icy surfaces bring additional hazards, while severe gales may cause drifting of the snow in areas with blizzard-like conditions.
The heaviest and most frequent of the snow showers will progressively become confined to northeast Scotland during Saturday.
Met Office Meteorologist Aidan McGivern said: “The Arctic air isn’t far away and the temperatures this week will be really up and down like a roller coaster.
“Wednesday looks particularly wet and the Scottish hills could see three or four inches of rainfall.
“As the winds change direction overnight on Wednesday we’re going to see that Arctic air sink it’s way southwards across the whole of the county and by the end of Thursday some places will be 10 degrees colder.
“That arctic air, once it covers the UK by Friday, will bring frequent snow storms particularly in the north and northwest (of Scotland)”