Highlands & Islands

'Storm Stella' may bring some fresh snow for Scotland

Snowmen in New York City Image copyright AFP
Image caption Scotland should not expect anything like the snowfalls experienced by New York and other parts of the US, say forecasters

A weather system dubbed Storm Stella that has brought blizzard conditions to eastern parts of the US could result in fresh snow for Scotland.

The Met Office said "some remnants" of the storm were expected to head north towards Iceland, drawing mild and unsettled conditions for the UK.

Blustery and wet weather has been forecast for Friday and the weekend.

The Met Office said snow could fall over higher ground in Scotland but to nothing like the levels seen in the US.

Scotland frequently gets snow in March and later in spring.

In June 2010, there was still enough snow for the CairnGorm Mountain snowsports centre to operate its ski tows for the first time in midsummer.

However, this winter and spring have seen fewer snowfalls than previously experienced, and after snow has fallen it has tended to melt quickly, even on higher ground.

Image copyright SAIS Southern Cairngorms
Image caption Snow cover has melted away on lower slopes of the Southern Cairngorms

Earlier this month, CairnGorm Mountain described the latest winter snowsports season as "challenging" and "poor".

The Scottish Avalanche Information Service has reported snow thawing in mountain areas it covers, including the Southern Cairngorms where the snow has disappeared from lower slopes.

High winds as well as mild temperatures have been a factor.

On Tuesday, weather stations at The Cairnwell and Cairngorm mountain recorded winds gusting to 92mph and to more than 100mph.

The Met Office said: "There's been some media speculation that a storm which bought snow and blizzard conditions to the United States, from Virginia to Maine, is now heading towards the UK.

"Whilst this makes great headlines, it is not quite the case."

It added: "Here in the UK we are in for a blustery and wet Friday and weekend however this is a spell of fairly typical spring weather with strong-to-gale force winds, rain and spells of blustery sunshine for many.

"We could even see some snow over high ground in Scotland.

"A strong jet stream is helping drive this unsettled weather our way. This is due in part to a big temperature contrast between areas of warm air and cold air in the United States at the moment."

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