Scotland braces for heavy snow as amber warning issued

The Met Office alert started at 3pm on Thursday and will remain in place until 6am on Saturday.

An amber weather warning for heavy snow has kicked in across large parts of Scotland.

The Met Office alert started at 3pm on Thursday and will remain in place until 6am on Saturday.

The heaviest snowfall is expected to hit areas including Crieff, Aberfeldy and Pitlochry in Perthshire, Ballater, Braemar and Inverurie in Aberdeenshire, Keith and Dufftown in Moray, and Aviemore, Beauly, Dingwall and Dornoch in the Highlands.

First Minister Nicola Sturgeon stated she had concerns over the impact the severe weather may have on the Covid-19 vaccination programme.

However, she said plans were in place to help protect the rollout of the jab.

Speaking at the Scottish Government’s briefing earlier on Thursday, she said her ‘heart sank a little bit’ when she saw the forecasts.

But she added: “There’s lots of work going in to make sure gritting and snow clearing where necessary so that we keep the vaccination programme running as smoothly as possible even when there is bad weather.

“But, of course, logic and common sense tells you that severe weather does have an impact on these things. We just have to try and minimise that as much as possible.”

A yellow warning has also been put in place between until 12pm on Saturday.

The alert stretches from Inveraray in Argyll and Bute across to Stirlingshire and parts of Fife, right up to Aberdeen as well as Wick in the Highlands.

A further yellow warning for snow and ice has also been put in place from 12pm on Sunday through to Monday night, affecting the majority of the country including the Borders, Glasgow and Orkney.

Snowfall: Braemar in Aberdeenshire.STV News

Those heading out are being warned to expected “significant disruption” to transport and utilities.

Due to the hazardous conditions, roads may become blocked by deep snow.

There is a danger motorists could become stranded, and long delays and cancellations of bus and rail services are to be expected.

The Met Office also said communities could become cut off for several days, adding: “Long interruptions to power supplies and other services, such as gas, water, telephone and mobile phone coverage could occur.”

On Thursday morning, the Highland main line was closed at Dalwhinnie due to “deep, drifting snow”.

Network Rail Scotland later posted a picture and video of a patrol locomotive ploughing through the snow at Slochd.

STV meteorologist Sean Batty said the “main weather event” will come during the early hours of Friday until the end of Saturday.

Ice cold: The amber alert will remain in place until Saturday morning.STV News

He added: “We’ve had cold conditions for weeks now and it looks like that is going to continue and turn even more severe in the coming days. 

“Not only could it be the coldest weather this season, but it could end up being our coldest conditions since December 2010.”

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