Snow hits Scotland after Storm Gertrude battering


Parts of Scotland have been hit by snow as the country feels the effects of Storm Gertrude which brought gusts of more than 140mph. 

Police have warned of hazardous driving conditions for some areas, with routes affected by the overnight snow fall.

The weather is set to remain unsettled throughout Saturday, after Storm Gertrude battered the country on Friday.

Met Office amber "be prepared" warnings were put in place for most of Scotland for wind and snow for the early part of the day, with yellow "be aware" warnings remaining for most of Saturday.

"Frequent wintry showers, heavy at times, are expected across northern UK during Saturday," the Met Office said.

"The heaviest snow showers are most likely north-west of the Central Belt of Scotland. Here, away from the immediate coast, around 5-10 cm of snow could accumulate. Elsewhere, snow accumulations will be more localised, with around 2-5 cm possible, primarily above 100 metres.

"Widespread gales are also expected with some gusts of 70mph across northern and western Scotland at times. Here, drifting of snow is likely in strong to gale force winds with local blizzard conditions, particularly on high ground."

The public were also urged to be aware of difficult driving conditions and disruption to travel.

Police Scotland said routes in Tayside have been affected by snow, with a number of collisions reported during the morning, particularly on the A90.

In Northern Ireland, Orkney and Shetland, and the north of England, the snow and wind warnings are also at the lesser yellow "be aware" stage.

The north of England, the Midlands and Wales have also been warned to expect ice on untreated roads and pavements, while the south of England can expect further spells of heavy rain.

The continuing misery comes a day after winds of more than 100mph from Storm Gertrude disrupted transport, brought down power lines and damaged buildings.

A rare red Met Office alert was in place for Orkney and Shetland during some of Friday amid wild conditions in the Northern Isles.

Gusts of 105mph were recorded in Shetland on Friday afternoon, while parts of the mainland saw speeds of 60-80mph.

Winds reached 144mph in the Cairngorm mountains, and nacreous clouds, usually seen in polar regions, were also spotted in the north east of Scotland.

Thousands of homes were left without power in Scotland and Northern Ireland after airborne debris and lightning brought down overhead lines and poles.

Scottish Hydro Electric Power Distribution restored supplies to 14,000 customers over the course of Friday, but said its engineers had been hampered by flooding and the high winds.

Friday's storm saw a man in Edinburgh treated in hospital after he was struck by flying debris, flats evacuated in Clydebank when scaffolding was blown through a roof, and a lorry blown on to a car on the A96 in Aberdeenshire.

In Northern Ireland, the storm blew a pet rabbit up on to a roof in Omagh, Co Tyrone.

All schools in the Northern and Western Isles were closed and train and ferry services were vastly reduced.

The Scottish Environment Protection Agency (Sepa) has dozens of flood warnings in place across the country, while south of the border the Environment Agency is urging communities in southern England and parts of the North to stay alert to the risk of renewed flooding over the weekend.