Scotland on alert as ice, snow and high winds forecast

Icy conditions, snowfall and strong winds are forecast to grip swaths of Scotland today, with some commuters expected to face significant disruption.

Storm force winds at high tide on Largs promenade, North Ayrshire. Picture: Ian Rutherford

The Met Office has issued five yellow ‘be aware’ warnings, with plummeting temperatures set to bring wintry conditions to much of the mainland.

Forecasters said up to 10cm of snow was expected to fall overnight on high routes in the worst affected areas in the southern and eastern Highlands.

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Further south, it will be cloudy with showers, but ice is expected to form, making conditions on the roads difficult.

It comes after high winds causes major problems across the country’s transport network yesterday, with extensive cancellations to ferry services.

With winds of up 75mph recorded in South Uist yesterday afternoon, Caledonian MacBrayne cancelled many of its scheduled sailings. They included services in Arran, Barra, Colonsay, Harris, Mull and Skye. In all, traffic on 16 of the operator’s routes was cancelled, with disruption to several other crossings.

The firm said additional services will be laid on today on some routes, such as the Mallaig to Oban crossing, but warned of potential ongoing disruption to the Coll and Tiree service.

Northlink passengers also endured a day of travel misery, with sailings from Aberdeen, Lerwick, Scrabster and Stromness cancelled due to the forecasts.

The company said that two services scheduled for today – the 7pm crossings between Aberdeen and Lerwick – were currently under review but stressed there was a “high probability of cancellation”.

The winds also led to Pentland Ferries bringing forward its evening sailings from St Margaret’s Hope in South Ronaldsay and Gills Bay near John O’Groats due to forecast “adverse weather conditions”.

Air traffic was largely unaffected, although inbound and outbound flights at Barra Airport were cancelled for the day.

Falling temperatures are expected to result in wintry showers across the east coast later in the week.

Emma Sharples, a meteorologist at the Met Office, said: “It looks like there will be some wintry flurries down the east coast on Thursday, Friday and into Saturday.

“It’s difficult at the moment to say exactly where we’ll see those but it’s definitely turning cold enough.”

She added: “Once we get through this spell of rain most places will be mostly dry.”