Belfast Telegraph

More snow on the way after storms

Forecasters have warned more snow is on the way after blizzards disrupted travel and closed schools in parts of the UK.

The Met Office has upgraded its weather warning to an amber "be prepared" alert across central and southern Scotland while alerts remain in place for the rest of the country.

Significant snow showers are expected tonight and tomorrow morning, with motorists and bus and train passengers warned that the extreme conditions could affect travel.

Network Rail has suspended four services in advance and the AA said its crews are geared up for a busy 48 hours.

The wintry blast took effect in Scotland earlier today, forcing the closure of more than 30 schools in the Highlands and creating difficult driving conditions.

In Dundee, a six-vehicle crash saw a car slide off the road and crash through railings into the wall of a property and a lorry jackknifed near Carrbridge on the A9.

The Met Office said: "There is a risk of two spells of persistent snow. The first of these is likely to cross the amber area on Tuesday evening, with another one affecting the area on Wednesday morning - both of which could produce disruptive snowfall during busy travel periods.

"Meanwhile, snow is likely to continue to accumulate throughout this period on high ground.

"The public should be prepared for the risk of disruption and difficult driving conditions."

The amber warning, in place until 10am tomorrow, follows last week's fierce storms which left 120,000 properties without power in Scotland.

The homes have since been reconnected but BT is continuing to fix phone lines in the Highlands and Islands.

Repair efforts have been hampered by fallen trees, ferry cancellations and traffic restrictions.

Road operator Bear Scotland said its teams are working around the clock to keep routes clear, while Police Scotland said drivers should ask whether their journey is really necessary before getting behind the wheel.

Chief Inspector Louise Blakelock, of Police Scotland, said: "If you do decide to travel, ensure your vehicle is well prepared before setting off, make sure your windscreens are completely free of snow and ice, and your lights are working and clean."

Network Rail said a limited number of train services will be suspended from noon tomorrow, when the worst of the winds are expected to strike.

No trains will run on the Dumbarton Central to Helensburgh Central and Glasgow to Oban lines until 6pm on Thursday.

The Kyle to Dingwall and Kilwinning to Ardrossan line will also be suspended during this period.

High winds can cause snow drifts to build up on exposed sections of track, as well as damaging railway equipment and blowing debris and trees onto tracks.

David Dickson, route managing director for Scotland, said: "Safety has to be our first consideration during severe weather. Where conditions are predicted to be most severe, we have agreed to withdraw a limited number of services until the worst of the storms have passed.

"During periods of snow and extreme cold we use a number of measures to keep the network open including insulated points heaters to prevent freezing, snow ploughs to remove drifts and our snow train which uses hot air blowers and steam to thaw frozen parts of the network.

"Our teams are out on the network and will be working around the clock to keep the tracks clear."

A yellow "be aware" warning for snow and ice remains in place across Wales, Northern Ireland and much of England, with sleet and snow showers possible overnight.

The Met Office said: " This is most likely to occur in the west of the yellow area, with the high ground of Wales, the moors of south west England, the Mendips and Cotswolds at greatest risk of snow accumulations.

"A lower risk exists across south east England early on Wednesday morning. Icy stretches will also form on untreated surfaces."

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