Beast from the East red alert over snowfall
Amber weather warning could be upgraded to red in some areas
THE Scottish Government has warned a red weather alert could be issued for the first time.
Transport Minister Humza Yousaf last night revealed the Met Office’s amber warnings for heavy snowfall were “right on the cusp” of being upgraded to red once the Beast from the East hits fully.
It would be the first time the alert – which means damage, travel and power disruption, and risk to life is likely – has been issued since the modern system came into force.
Last night, the Met Office confirmed most of Scotland would be under a blanket of snow by the close of play tomorrow.
Branding the weather to come as “bitterly cold,” he added: “The worst will fall across eastern Aberdeenshire and along the coast and by the end of the day there could well be 10cm (4in) on the ground and up to 20cm (8in) on high ground.”
The Scottish Government has warned the country is on the cusp of the worst storm since records began.
Transport Minister Humza Yousaf yesterday warned people not to drive and said the Met Office had advised him the country was on the brink of a dangerous and deadly cold snap.
A Met Office red warning would mean that damage, travel and power disruption, and risk to life are likely. Last night a spokesman for the Met Office said nowhere in Scotland would escape snow showers.
“Heavy snow showers are likely over Easter Ross, some parts of Sutherland and Caithness,” he said.
“They all have amber warnings and snow will be drifting about as well. Inverness is a bit more sheltered but will still have some showers – although not nearly as much as the east coast.
“Across the north-east – from Buckie – we will have frequent and heavy snow showers throughout Wednesday. The worst will fall across eastern Aberdeenshire and along the coast and by the end of the day there could well be 10cm (4in) on the ground and up to 20cm (8in) on high ground.
“There will also be a strong easterly wind, making it feel bitterly cold.”
Four people have already died in weather-related car crashes south of the border.
Police yesterday urged people to stay indoors.
Chief Superintendent Stewart Carle, head of the Scottish force’s road policing unit, said: “We will con- tinue to work very closely with the Met Office and our many partners in preparation for the severe weather conditions as forecasted snow storms spread from the east across a wide area of mainland Scotland.
“We urge people to avoid travelling on the roads unless absolutely necessary.”
Met Office warnings for snow for much of the UK are in place until Saturday, with showers and longer periods of snow expected throughout last night.
The Met Office is also warning of some rural communities becoming cut off, and that power cuts and disruption to mobile phone services may occur.
Met Office forecaster Mark Wilson said the UK was facing “an exceptionally cold” night, with the potential for -10C in parts of Scotland.
MORE ON THE WAY: The Beast from the East hits as snow blankets the Ballater area yesterday.
A young man takes a running jump down a snow-covered hill with his sledge