Scotland’s weather: blizzards and heavy snow

BLIZZARDS with up to 20cm (almost 8in) of snow were forecast to sweep in overnight today and a Met Office severe weather warning is in force until tomorrow.

Parts of northern Scotland could see up to 5cm of snow. Picture: TSPL
Parts of northern Scotland could see up to 5cm of snow. Picture: TSPL
Parts of northern Scotland could see up to 5cm of snow. Picture: TSPL

Winds are expected to gust at more than 60mph over coasts and hills, with the risk of hazardous driving and travel disruption. It came as strong winds disrupted ferries and caused difficult driving conditions yesterday, while fallen trees blocked roads and railway lines.

The Met Office said its yellow – “be aware” – alert was for frequent sleet, snow and hail showers across Scotland until 3pm tomorrow.

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The agency said: “Accumulations of locally 1-3cm are possible over low ground, particularly on Sunday night into Monday morning.

“On ground above around 150-200m, locally 5-10cm is likely, with accumulations of 10-20cm over ground above around 300m.

“Winds will be generally strong, with gusts of 60mph or more likely at times, especially on coasts and hills.”

High-level routes which could be affected include the A9 between Perth and Inverness, sections of the A82 between Glasgow and Inverness, and the A74(M) in Dumfries and Galloway.

However, the Met Office added: “Areas east of mountains will see relatively few showers.”

It said the return of wintry weather was caused by a deep low pressure system from the Atlantic meeting colder air then moving slowly eastwards.

It said: “A strong, unstable and cold westerly flow on its southern flank for much of Monday will gradually veer north-westerly by Tuesday and is expected to bring frequent showers to many parts.

“Lightning could be an additional hazard.”

Met Office spokesman Simon Partridge added: “The whole of the UK will experience strong winds and severe gales over the course of tomorrow, meaning it will be a wet and windy day for many – and a snowy and windy day for northern parts.

“Winter is not over just yet.”

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CalMac yesterday cancelled ferry sailings on its Oban-Tiree/Coll, Barra-Eriskay, Skye-Harris, Mallaig-Skye and Tarbert (Loch Fyne)-Portavadie routes. It warned that several others could be disrupted.

Heavy snow yesterday closed the A93 between Braemar and the Glenshee ski centre in Aberdeenshire.

Other roads affected included the A84 north of Callander in the Trossachs.

Strong winds hampered drivers on the Forth Road Bridge, where gusts topped 50mph.

Winds also affected the Kessock and Skye bridges, and an exposed section of the A1 near Haddington in East Lothian.

Fallen trees caused disruption for drivers on the A82 between Balloch and Luss in Argyll, and the A738 at Kilwinning in Ayrshire.

Several trains were delayed or cancelled after a fallen tree blocked the Inverness-Perth line near Culloden.

Nine flood warnings were issued for parts of Dumbarton, Gourock, Renfrew, Largs, Helensburgh, and Tarbert on Loch Fyne.

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The Scottish Environment Protection Agency said the threat was from a combination of high tides and a surge in the Firth of Clyde caused by strong winds. FOLLOW US