The Met Office has raised its winter weather alert for Tayside and Fife to amber.
Earlier this week the forecaster issued a yellow warning for this weekend, promising heavy snow and blizzards.
This warning – valid between 9am Saturday and 8am Sunday – has been upgraded with what appears to be an even more serious bout of winter weather.
The Met Office statement said:
- Travel delays on roads are likely, stranding some vehicles and passengers
- Some delays and cancellations to rail travel are likely
- There is a good chance that some rural communities could become cut off
- Power cuts are likely and other services, such as mobile phone coverage, may be affected
The statement said: “A period of prolonged and heavy snow is expected to develop through Saturday morning, before clearing from the west through Sunday morning.
“5-10 cm of snow is likely widely across the area, whilst some areas could see 20 cm, perhaps as much as 40cm over higher ground.
“Strong south-esaterly winds will lead to temporary blizzard conditions as well as drifting of lying snow.”
In addition, an amber warning for ice has been issued for the area west and south-west of Dundee.
The Met Office statement said: “Heavy freezing rain is expected to develop during Saturday.
“This will result in the rapid formation of widespread ice on roads, pavements, trees and other structures.
“Freezing rain is rare in the United Kingdom but when it does occur the impacts can be very severe.
“This is due to the fact that it can form very quickly, it can be difficult to see and is incredibly slippery.
“Some sleet and snow is possible over the very highest ground and the freezing rain may also be followed by a spell of sleet and snow as the precipitation clears from the west.
“The freezing rain and sleet and snow will be accompanied by strong southeasterly winds which will pose an additional hazard to travel, in particular over high ground.”