Scottish Election 2021: Bad weather and unseasonal snowfall causes chaos across Scotland on polling day

A surprise flurry of snow blanketed much of the country on Thursday causing widespread disruption and delays as Scots went to the ballot box.

The Met Office issued a yellow weather warning which remained in place until 11am on Thursday morning across parts of north, north-east, south-west and central Scotland.

The predictions came to pass with a number of weather related incidents reported by Traffic Scotland, mainly in the Highlands.

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A fallen tree blocked the southbound carriageway of the A9 at Daviot, south of Inverness, for just over an hour Thursday morning.

Traffic Scotland removed the tree but warned that the snowy conditions were continuing to affect roads and journey times.

Police diversions were in place for some time near Tomintoul in Moray on the A939 after a tanker got stuck in the snow.

Meanwhile, drivers on the M8 and the A720 were warned to take precautions as flurries of snow were also reported in the area.

They eased off as the morning went on and no major delays were reported.

Snowy conditions at a Scottish Parliamentary election polling station in the village of Farr, near Inverness. (Picture credit: Paul Campbell/PA Wire)

The bad weather wasn’t limited to road disruptions, with a power cut affecting the polling place at Gergask Primary School in Laggan.

Highland Council reported that the power had been restored by 10am.

Other Scottish voters had to brave the bad weather and wrap up before they could make it to their local polling stations, with Farr near Inverness in the Highlands experiencing several inches of snow overnight.

Forecasters predicted that up to 3cm of snow could have built up below 150m, and on higher roads there was a chance that up to 6cm could accumulate.

Scots are heading to the polls to elect the next Scottish Government but have unseasonally snowy conditions to contend with. (Picture credit: Paul Campbell/PA Wire)

Bear Scotland had seven gritters out between Inverness and Drumochter on the A9 to try to keep the route clear and prevent any weather related accident occurring.

The early May cold snap comes after provisional figures from the Met Office’s National Climate Information Centre suggest April had the third-lowest average UK minimum temperature for the month since records began in 1884.

Aboyne in Aberdeenshire recorded temperatures dropping below freezing during 25 nights last month.

Mike Kendon, Senior Scientist at the Met Office’s National Climate Information Centre, said: “April has been an incredibly notable month in terms of the statistics.

“A long, prolonged spell of dry and settled conditions was only interrupted by a wet few days in western Scotland in the first half of the month, and cold nights have been the norm across the UK, especially in northern England and Scotland, with the lowest reading coming in at –9.4C at Tulloch Bridge on April 12.”

While the yellow weather warning is no longer in place, the Met Office predicts conditions are going to be wet and windy over this weekend.

On Friday, after a cold start, sunshine and showers are expected throughout the day across most of the country. There is a risk of hail and thunder in the north east and snow showers are possible on higher ground.

Dumfries and Galloway, the Lothians and the Scottish Borders will see a maximum temperature of 13C and potentially thundery outbreaks on Friday afternoon, while the Highlands and Eilean Siar will see similar conditions with a high of 11C.

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