Storm Ciara: Snow warning as blizzards set to blast Scotland

Heavy snow and strong winds are forecast across the country in the next few days.

The Met Office has warned there will be disruptions to travel and a high chance of power cuts across the country due to lightning strikes picture: JPI Media and Met Office

Most areas of Scotland will be hit by the severe weather conditions including Edinburgh and Glasgow.

The Met Office has warned there will be disruptions to travel and a high chance of power cuts across the country due to lightning strikes.

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Strong winds are expected to hit Scotland on Saturday and heavy snow is due to fall on Monday and continue through to Tuesday.

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West coast ferry operator CalMac is warning of potential travel disruption as Storm Ciara is forecast to hit its area of operations this weekend.

It is likely that severe disruption will affect a significant number of routes with winds gusting up to 80mph forecast.

CalMac's Director of Operations, Robert Morrison said: "Weather for the weekend is looking extremely problematic as far as delivering a scheduled timetable.

"There is a very high possibility of weather related disruption to services across all 28 of our routes so people should be aware of this before setting off on their journey.

"We will of course be looking keep sailings running when conditions allow.

"I would urge passengers to allow extra time for their journey, keep track of the status of their sailing on the website or on social media and be prepared for delays and cancellations.

"The easiest way to get the very latest news about a sailing is to sign up for our text service to get the very latest service updates via their phone.

"Customers can sign up for the text service via calmac.co.uk."

A Met Office spokesman said: "Frequent and heavy snow showers will affect the region throughout Monday and at first on Tuesday. Snow showers will mainly be over high ground. Slight accumulations of 1 to 3 cm above 150 metres and 5-10 cm above 300 metres.

"Strong winds, gusting 50-60 mph, will lead to blizzard conditions at times and considerable drifting of lying snow. Frequent lightning strikes are also possible, perhaps leading to interruptions to power supplies."

Storm Ciara is officially the third named storm of the 2019/20 UK storm season, with the Met Office naming the system on Wednesday morning.

The vortex follows Storm Atiyah, which hit on December 8 and 9, and Storm Brendan, which brought wind and rain to the country on January 13 and 14.