Snow brings travel disruption amid warnings of lightning strikes

A yellow weather warning is in place until 8pm on Thursday.

Snow is bringing difficult driving conditions (Danny Lawson/PA)
Snow is bringing difficult driving conditions (Danny Lawson/PA)

Motorists are facing difficult driving conditions and schools are shut in some areas as snow falls in many parts of the country, amid warnings of lightning strikes.

The Met Office has issued a yellow warning for snow and lightning, in force until 8pm on Thursday, for most of Scotland and Northern Ireland.

Forecasters say heavy snow showers are expected, along with very gusty winds and a chance of frequent lightning affecting some places.

On the roads, Traffic Scotland said snowy conditions are affecting much of the central belt, the A9 around Slochd in the Highlands and the A90 around Dundee, and urged people to drive according to the conditions.

Bear Scotland North East Trunk Roads reported heavy snow on the A9, M90, A92, A90, A95 and A96 and said gritters have been out continuously overnight through “challenging conditions”, with 24 gritters and 10 tractors still out on the network.

Police Scotland tweeted: “Warnings are in place for much of the day. Please be prepared and drive according to the conditions if you are travelling.”

In Perth and Kinross, 10 schools are closed due to the snow while more than 20 schools and nurseries are shut in the Highlands, and in South Lanarkshire many delayed opening until 10am due to the adverse weather conditions.

Rail and ferry travel has also been disrupted by the weather.

ScotRail tweeted that blanket speed restrictions were in place until 8am between Falls of Cruachan and Taynuilt, between Ardgay and Lairg and between Pitlochry and Blair Atholl.

Ferry operator Caledonian MacBrayne said some services were liable to disruption or cancellation at short notice due to the weather.

The Met Office warning states that in some areas, 3-7cm of snow is likely to build up, even at low levels, while on higher ground some places could see 10-20cm building up by Thursday morning.

Forecasters said temperatures across Scotland and Northern Ireland are expected to drop sharply following a squally band of rain on Wednesday, with frequent heavy and blustery snow showers arriving from the Atlantic.

It states: “The showers will be accompanied by strong, blustery winds, with gusts of 45-55mph possible, and a chance of 65mph on coasts. Blizzard conditions are likely over higher ground.

“There is a small chance that some of the showers could be accompanied by frequent lightning, which could impact power supplies, including some places outside of the warning area.

Snow showers are increasingly likely to turn back to rain and sleet at low levels later Thursday morning and early afternoon, although remaining as snow above 200-300 metres.”

The warning covers Central Scotland, Tayside and Fife, the Highlands and Western Isles, South West Scotland, Lothian and Borders, Strathclyde and Northern Ireland.

In England, search and rescue crews in Bewdley, Worcestershire, were out checking properties and speaking to residents on Wednesday after temporary flood defences were breached following heavy rainfall on Tuesday afternoon.

The River Severn peaked in the town on Wednesday afternoon but levels are expected to remain high for a prolonged period and a severe flood warning, meaning a danger to life, is still in place.

The Environment Agency said severe flooding is expected to continue.

The last week has seen storms Dudley, Eunice and Franklin cause problems across the country and about 400 properties have been flooded.

On Thursday ,the Environment Agency had 51 flood warnings and 42 flood alerts in place.

North of the border, the Scottish Environment Protection Agency has issued 21 flood warnings and four flood alerts.

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