Scotland braced for a big freeze after Storm Caroline's 93mph gusts

TEMPERATURES plunging as low as -8C by Sunday will mark another dramatic change in Scotland's weather after Storm Caroline battered the north with gusts reaching 93mph.

Storm Carolines progress shown from space Images captured by the University of Dundee Satellite Receiving Station over the last 72 hours show the progress of Storm Caroline as it passes over the British Isles. Picture: Dundee University

Some 16,000 homes lost power while more than 100 schools were closed and trains on four railway lines were suspended.

Orkney and Shetland, where all schools will remain closed on Friday,has a further severe weather warning in force all day for winds of 70-80mph.

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Fair Isle, south of Shetland, recorded the highest guts, of 93mph, with 89mph at Sumburgh Airport on the southern tip of Shetland.

Fair Isle Bird Observatory warden David Parnaby said: “You can see it’s wild outside. We are used to fairly extreme conditions but this is more than we usually get.”

A separate snow and ice warning has been issued for all but the south-east of Scotland until 6pm on Saturday.

The Met Office warned of up to 20cm of snow from “increasingly frequent showers”, mainly in the north, and 2-5cm elsewhere.

A spokeswoman said: “Possible travel delays on roads, stranding some vehicles and passengers with possible delays and cancellations to rail and air travel. Some rural communities could be cut off and power supplies interrupted. Probably some icy stretches on some untreated roads, pavements and cycle paths.

“Some injuries from slips and falls on icy and snowy surfaces[expected].”

Temperatures are expected to fall to -1C in Edinburgh on Friday and Saturday night and -2C in Glasgow and Inverness. The coldest spots could include Aviemore and Braemar, down to -6C on Saturday night, and Dalwhinnie to -8C on Sunday night.

Scottish & Southern Electricity Networks said power had been restored to more than 11,500 customers, mainly on the Western Isles and north-west Highlands, but about 4,600 homes, mainly in Caithness, Orkney and Shetland, remain without power.

Many Western Isles schools were closed along with 55 Highland Council schools and nurseries, with at least two also shut on Friday.

Around 30 pupils heading for Kirkwall Grammar School were rescued by police from a bus halted by flooding.

A trampoline was blown on the railway line at Patterton in East Renfrewshire, and a gazebo at Coatbridge in North Lanarkshire.

All rail routes north of Perth were closed or had speed restrictions for much of the day because of the danger of debris blown onto the tracks.

Caledonian Sleeper trains suffered major delays after a freight train was hit by metal sheeting blown on to the line near Penrith early yesterday, with passengers arriving in Glasgow, Aberdeen, Inverness and Fort William four hours or more late. Virgin Trains services were also delayed.

Ferries halted included on seven of CalMac’s west coast routes.

Flood alerts were in force last night for Aberdeenshire, Moray, Orkney, Shetland and the Western Isles.