Amber warning issued for parts of Scotland as Boris Johnson chairs Cobra weather meeting
An upgraded amber warning for snow is expected to bring significant disruption to the transport network in the south of Scotland.
The Met Office has upgraded its snow warning to amber for parts of Lanark, Penicuik and Dalkeith, east of the M74 and west of Galashiels and Jedburgh, running from 6pm on Wednesday, January 20 to 8am on Thursday, January 21. A yellow warning for snow remains in place for much of southern Scotland through to midday on Thursday.
Potential impacts of the amber warning include long delays and cancellations on bus and rail travel. Roads may be affected by deep snow, particularly over higher routes, and some rural communities might be cut off. Interruptions to power supplies and telephone networks could also occur.
Cabinet Secretary for Transport, Infrastructure and Connectivity Michael Matheson said: “The Met Office is telling us that Storm Christoph is likely to bring another period of challenging weather to parts of Scotland over the next few days, particularly in the north and north east of Scotland.“The current COVID restrictions mean you should only be leaving your home for an essential purpose, so please consider if your journey is absolutely necessary before setting off.“The forecast snow has potential to cause difficult driving conditions and disruption to the wider transport network, so if you have to make an essential journey during the warning period it’s important you plan your journey, drive to the conditions and follow Police Scotland travel advice.
There are amber and yellow warnings for snow and ice in Scotland as an amber alert which warns of the risk of flooding and deep floodwaters posing a risk to life, stretches across certain areas of England.
Communities in England are bracing for flooding and major incidents have already been declared in Greater Manchester and South Yorkshire amid amber and yellow weather warnings for the storm, which could also bring snow to northern areas.
Speaking during Prime Minister's Questions on Wednesday, Boris Johnson told MPs: "Our sympathies also go out to those affected by the latest floods.
"I want to thank the Environment Agency and our emergency services for the work they're doing to support those communities, and I'll be chairing a Cobra meeting later on to co-ordinate the national response."
The Met Office recently issued an upgraded amber warning of snow in Scotland affecting East Lothian, Midlothian Council, Scottish Borders, West Lothian and South Lanarkshire.
5-10 cm of snow is likely to accumulate across most of the warning area, with 10-20 cm above 200m elevation and perhaps around 30 cm above 400 m.
Travel delays on roads are likely, stranding some vehicles and passengers and some delays and cancellations to rail and bus travel are very likely.
Areas in the North of Scotland such as Aberdeenshire, Moray and the Highlands are still under a yellow warning of snow and ice.
In Southern Scotland, a yellow warning of snow will also continue to affect areas in Dumfries and Galloway, East Lothian, Edinburgh, Midlothian Council, Scottish Borders, West Lothian, Strathclyde, East Ayrshire, East Renfrewshire, North Lanarkshire, South Ayrshire and South Lanarkshire.
Transport Scotland said they are closely monitoring the trunk road network, carrying out patrols and treatments and providing assistance to motorists.