Blizzards sweep Scotland after Storm Ciara

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Media caption,

Wintry conditions sweep Scotland after Storm Ciara

Wintry conditions are sweeping across Scotland in the wake of Storm Ciara which battered the UK over the weekend.

The Met Office has issued yellow warnings for wind and snow for most of Scotland with disruption to travel.

Forecasters said that the snow and high winds would bring blizzards to many parts of Scotland throughout Monday and Tuesday.

Many roads have been affected by snow and one woman has been seriously injured in a crash on the M74.

The woman was involved in a collision between a lorry and two cars on the motorway at junction seven, Larkhall, shortly after 10:00 on Monday.

Police Scotland said her injuries were not thought to be life-threatening.

Image source, Traffic Scotland
Image caption,
Traffic Scotland released a map showing the Queensferry Crossing diversion route

The southbound carriageway of the Queensferry Crossing was closed at 19:00 on Monday.

The crossing's northbound carriageway was then closed at about 20:20 due to adverse weather.

The official twitter feed for the bridge operators said the closures were a "precautionary measure due to risk of falling ice and snow from the cables".

Traffic Scotland said it would remain closed until further notice.

The diversion, via the Kincardine Bridge, adds approximately 26 miles to the journey.

On Ben Nevis, Lochaber Mountain Rescue Team said 22 team members were searching in "horrendous" weather for a group of four people stuck on steep ground near the summit.

A Coastguard helicopter is involved in the search, but the team said the aircraft was "very limited" by the weather conditions.

The bad weather also led to the closure of some schools in the Highland Council area.

Achiltibuie, Gergask and Kingussie primaries and nurseries have closed, along with Alvie, Inverie and Mallaig primary schools. Highland Council said the closures had affected more than 200 children.

What's the forecast?

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Up to 20cm (8in) of snow is likely to fall on Monday and Tuesday, with conditions remaining wintry and unsettled all week, according to the Met Office.

BBC Scotland's Kawser Quamer said heavy showers on Monday would mainly affect western and central parts of Scotland, but some would also reach the east as well.

"We could have gusts of up to 60mph. Add that to the snow and there could be blizzard conditions up over higher road routes, the hills, the mountains and even to lower levels at times," she said.

Image source, Stewart Falconer
Image caption,
There was significant snowfall overnight in Kingussie in the Cairngorms

The weather across Scotland is likely to be very unsettled during the afternoon and into the evening with heavy showers, hail, thunder and snow expected.

Ice will also form as the the temperature drops tonight.

Weather warnings for wind and snow are in place until midnight on Tuesday. A separate yellow warning for snow and ice will then come into effect until midday on Wednesday.

What's the situation on the roads?

Image caption,
Drivers across Scotland were faced with challenging conditions on Monday morning

Wintry conditions are affecting the M74, A82, A835, A93 and A87.

Commuters faced difficult journeys across Scotland, with blizzard conditions reported on the M74 at Beattock.

The M74 northbound carriageway was closed between junctions seven and eight, near Larkhall, after a crash involving two cars and a lorry, which left one woman seriously injured.

The Dornoch bridge has been closed to high-sided vehicles with warnings in place on other bridges.

A response team has been set up at the Traffic Scotland National Control Centre in South Queensferry for the duration of the warnings to monitor conditions.

How have rail services been affected?

Image caption,
ScotRail have advised passengers to check before they travel

ScotRail said there were no services between Kilmarnock and Dumfries following a landslide.

All trains between Carlisle and Glasgow Central/Edinburgh remain suspended because of flooding at Carlisle,

Disruption is expected to last all day and Transpennine Express has told its customers to avoid travelling on this route.

The West Highland Line and Inverness-Kyle line were both closed, but have now reopened, ScotRail said.

Image source, ScotRail

The rail operator also tweeted a picture of one of its InterCity trains that was badly damaged when it hit a tree near Insch on Sunday. No-one was hurt in the incident.

There is likely to be further disruption on the rail network throughout the day and ScotRail asked passengers to plan ahead.

A spokeswoman said: "We are doing all we can to keep our customers moving during some very challenging conditions.

"We ask that customers keep an eye on our website, app or twitter feed for live updates."

Is there likely to be more flooding?

The Scottish Environmental Protection Agency said there were 37 flood warnings and 15 flood alerts in place.

In the Scottish Borders there is a cordon around a guesthouse in Hawick, part of which collapsed during Sunday's storm.

Media caption,

Ryan McGee captures the moment a building collapses into the River Teviot

Nigel Goody, from Sepa, told BBC Radio Scotland's Good Morning Scotland, that the flood risk situation was improving.

He said Storm Ciara had brought a dangerous combination of high tides, high storm surges and high inshore waves across coastal areas.

But he added: "Things are now turning more wintry, they're also turning more showery thankfully. But those showers will be frequent and they will be mostly of snow on high ground. The rivers are not expected to respond greatly at this stage."

Visitors battle strong winds during a thunderstorm at the annual Whitby Regatta, August 2019
Getty Images
Weather warnings guide

  • YellowSevere weather possible, plan ahead, travel may be disrupted

  • AmberIncreased likelihood of impact, eg travel delays, power cuts

  • RedDangerous weather expected - take action to keep safe

Source: Met Office

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Image source, Getty Images

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