Scotland is bracing itself for a grim weekend of weather as Storm Dennis blows in after temperatures plunged to their lowest so far this winter.
Braemar shivered in -10.2C on Wednesday night, albeit that was far above the Aberdeenshire town’s record-holding -27.2C, set in 1982.
Its temperature was expected to dip to -8C last night followed by milder conditions, with the overnight minimum rising to 4C by Sunday.
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Strong winds and heavy rain will hit parts of Scotland from today with another four days of weather warnings in store.
Five flood alerts for southern Scotland and the west coast as far north as Mull were issued by the Scottish Environment Protection Agency.
A landslip which has shut the Kilmarnock-Carlisle railway line near Holywood, north of Dumfries, since Monday will take another month to repair, Network Rail said.
It was caused by the River Nith eroding an embankment under the railway during Storm Ciara, with 1,700 tons dislodged over a 50m section of track.
A Network Rail spokesperson said: “Storm Ciara has caused significant damage beneath the track and we will need to rebuild the track bed and supporting embankment before we can re-open the line.
“The landslip is located in a challenging location above the river and will also require our engineers to construct a haul road to bring equipment and materials to the site.”
Buses will replace trains between Kilmarnock and Dumfries until Monday, 16 March.
The Met Office warned: “Storm Dennis has the potential to bring very strong winds and transport disruption during Sunday and Monday morning.”
'Bit more rain'
Meteorologist Matthew Box said: “The winds will be a touch down on what we saw with Ciara but the focus is on a bit more rain.”
The storm will be preceded by a yellow - “be aware” - severe weather warning for up to 20mm of rain today across the Borders and Dumfries and Galloway, which could combine with melting snow to cause flooding.
A further yellow-level rain and wind warning will follow tomorrow for south to south easterly winds of up to 60mph on coasts and high ground across southern Scotland, the Central Belt and Argyll.
Storm Dennis’ arrival on Sunday has prompted another yellow warning until noon on Monday, for winds gusting to 70mph, affecting the whole of Scotland apart from Orkney and Shetland.
A Met Office spokesperson added: “The strongest winds could also coincide with the Monday morning peak travel period.”
More severe amber - “be prepared” - warnings will be in force on Saturday and Sunday for up to 140mm of rain in parts of South wales, south west and south east England, and an area north of Manchester.