Scots to wake up to 2ft of snow by Saturday

TREACHEROUS weather conditions swept across parts of Scotland yesterday as the first significant heavy snowfalls of the winter began to fall.

• A car is left abandoned on the A93 near Ballater

And with the unseasonably early snow - the worst since 1993 - have come predictions of an even more severe winter than last year's record-breaking cold spell.

The Scottish Government's Resilience Committee, called-up to deal with last year's severe winter after councils struggled to cope, is preparing to reconvene, it was confirmed yesterday.

Hide Ad
Hide Ad

And forecasters have warned that the early snowfalls are an ominous sign. Forecasters The Weather Outlook have warned that, due to the early start, average temperatures could be even lower this winter.

Forecaster Brian Gaze said: "The pattern is similar to the one which brought wintry weather last December. This is a sharp spell of wintry weather for November. I've analysed numerical weather prediction models - the basis for medium-range forecasts - since 1994 and have never seen anything like this in any previous November."

Helen Chivers, a spokeswoman for the Met Office, said temperatures over the last two days had fallen as low as -6C at the top of Cairngorm with 10cm of snow falling overnight at Glenisla in the Angus Glens.

She said: "It is unseasonably early for such significant falls of snow and, if the snow continues to fall as predicted, it will be the most widespread snowfalls in November since 1993.

"We have cold weather carrying on all the way through the weekend and into next week - and probably even beyond.

"The whole country will be affected by these wintry conditions - either by frost and ice or by snow showers. We could well see very deep snow in places in the east.

"Overnight tonight we are looking at 20cm in places such as the Cheviots in the Scottish Borders, Aberdeenshire and the Highlands, and over the next few days we could have similar amounts in similar areas on top of what has already fallen.

"What will have fallen won't melt and you could have 20cm on top of 20cm on top of 20cm - with 60cm, or 2ft, lying in some areas by the weekend."

Hide Ad
Hide Ad

The Scottish Government insisted it was well prepared for another severe winter, as yesterday's snowfall caused school closures and treacherous road conditions across the North-east.

Scotland's environment minister, Roseanna Cunningham, said: "The Scottish Government's Resilience Committee will be kept informed of developments over the next few days with a view to convening again if necessary.

"The Scottish Government, councils and other key services pulled together last year to deal successfully with the coldest winter since 1914. This year we are confident we have planned well ahead with councils reporting record levels of salt supplies and schools putting new closure alert systems in place for parents."

Cold snap warning

TODAY: Daytime temperatures will fall as low as -2C as freezing weather drifts in from the north and east. The snowfall is expected to be restricted to the north.

TOMORROW: Heavy snow across country. Freezing fog in south.

SATURDAY: Warmer conditions from west, but the entire east coast will not see temperatures above freezing.

SUNDAY: Daytime temperatures will remain around freezing point. Snow could affect country as day goes on.