Scotland’s first snowfall of the year causes school closures

Scotland’s first snowfall of the year has caused disruption with many school closures and delayed opening times.

A number of schools in Aberdeenshire were closed or had their start times delayed because of the wintry weather with Highland Council confirming some closures and delayed starts there, too.

An Aberdeenshire Council spokesperson said: “Our gritting fleet has been treating all our primary routes this afternoon and will be out again tomorrow morning, as we are expecting wintry showers to continue overnight, with road temperatures falling below zero.

“While there have been no significant impacts today, the snow and ice has led to the closure or partial closure of some of our schools, mostly due to transport difficulties.

“We’d ask everybody to plan ahead if they have a need to travel, and to follow the latest weather forecasts.”

The Met Office had issued a yellow weather warning over parts of Scotland with some areas likely to face disruption.

The Met Office confirmed there had been 5cm of snow in Aboyne, Aberdeenshire, and at Althnaharra in the Highlands, along with 3cm at Dyce, near Aberdeen.

Met Office chief meteorologist Steve Willington warned there is an “increasing risk of snow as the week progresses”.

Mr Willington said: “As an Arctic, maritime airmass settles across the UK, temperatures will fall with widespread overnight frosts, severe in places, and daytime temperatures only a few degrees above freezing.

“However, the cold air from the Arctic will also bring brighter conditions, with some dry, sunny spells, particularly away from the coast and where winds are light it could feel pleasant in the sunshine. Some patchy freezing fog is also likely.”

He added that yellow weather warnings had been issued for ice and snow for parts of Scotland, Northern Ireland, Wales and parts of England.

Mr Willington continued: “Showers will turn more wintry with an increasing risk of snow as the week progresses, particularly in coastal areas or over higher ground.

“There will be widespread frosts with temperatures falling to as low as -10°C overnight in isolated spots by the end of the week.”

Roads have also been affected, with Traffic Scotland confirming urging drivers to “take care”.

With more snow forecast to fall in the next few weeks, mountain safety organisations are coming together to encourage people to “ThinkWinter” and ensure that those heading for the hills and mountains can easily access the right information and advice on safety in the winter months.

Scottish Mountain Rescue chair, Bill Glennie, said: “Do go out into the outdoors and enjoy Scotland’s mountains when many would say they are at their finest, but do it safely, with the appropriate skills and equipment.”

Mountaineering Scotland’s senior mountain safety adviser, Ross Cadie, added: “When winter arrives in Scotland’s mountains, we need to make sure we do our homework before heading out.

“Planning and preparation from trusted sources and matching your adventure to your level of skill and conditions will help you return home safely.”