Met Office warnings issued for high winds and snow

Snow on the A9 Image copyright Transport Scotland
Image caption Wintry conditions are already being encountered on the A9 at Drumochter

There are warnings of further disruption as high winds and snow close in on Scotland.

The Met Office has issued yellow Be Aware warnings for much of the country, which are due to remain in force until late on Friday.

It comes after high winds caused a lorry to overturn, closing the Forth Road Bridge in both directions.

Power cuts have also been reported in Argyll, Inverness and the north east.

Scottish and Southern Electricity Networks said about 1,500 properties in the north of the country had lost power as a result of the weather but all supplies were restored by about 20:00.

Plan ahead

Winds reaching speeds of of 77mph have been recorded in Tiree, while South Uist recorded a gust of 73mph.

Ferry operator Caledonian MacBrayne has warned customers of "heavy disruptions" across the network, with some sailings cancelled for the rest of the day.

ScotRail has announced alterations to some of its services between Edinburgh, Glasgow and Inverness on Thursday because of the weather.

Bus operator Stagecoach has said its services to and from Aviemore, Fort William, Tain, Inverness and on Skye and Orkney are subject to delays due to the weather.

The Met Office said the combination of wintry showers and strong winds could lead to difficult travel conditions. There is also a risk of snow drifts on higher routes on Thursday and Friday.

Image copyright Bear
Image caption Bear Scotland said gritters would be treating roads overnight

They also warned that lightning could accompany the heavier showers, with further disruption to power supplies.

There are likely to be road bridge restrictions in place due to the high winds, especially for high-sided vehicles.

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Image caption Picture taken at Helensburgh by BBC Weatherwatcher Westiewalker
Image caption Picture taken at Troon on Wednesday by BBC Weatherwatcher Dogwithnobrain

Craig Snell from the Met Office said there was a chance of thunder and lightning, which could disrupt the power supply and bring so-called "thundersnow".

Mr Snell added that it would be "a very unsettled and cold day across the northern half of the country", with temperatures forecast to drop to minus 5C (23F) in parts of the country.

About 0.8in (2cm) of snow is possible in low-lying areas, while 3.9in (10cm) could fall on high ground.

'Consider options'

Mr Snell said the next few days would be "distinctly colder", with bitter weather across all parts of the country by Thursday.

He added that it would remain "windy and cold on Friday, with potentially some large waves and coastal flooding going down the eastern side of the UK".

Ch Supt Andy Edmonston, Police Scotland's head of road policing, said: "With a risk of weather-related disruption for the remainder of the working week, motorists should bear in mind the risk of potentially-hazardous driving conditions to come.

"If you are travelling, please ensure your vehicle is well prepared before setting off; making sure your windscreens are completely free of snow and ice; ensure your number plate is clear; and your lights are working and clean.

"Ensure you have sufficient fuel in the vehicle, as well as supplies for yourself and passengers, including food, water, warm clothes and a fully-charged mobile phone. Check your route before you set off, and consider options for an alternative route, if necessary. Be aware public transport could be disrupted and restrictions could be in effect on road bridges.

"Motorists should also adapt their driving to suit road conditions, as well as the behaviour of other road users, including leaving more space between vehicles."

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