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Met Office issues upgraded amber warning for snow in part of the Highlands; alert in the Cairngorms is on top of a wider yellow warning for snow and ice in parts of Ross-shire, Inverness-shire, Sutherland and Caithness

By Philip Murray

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AN amber weather warning has been issued for heavy snow in parts of the Highlands later today.

The amber warning, and a wider yellow alert for snow and ice across much of the Highlands, comes into force at 3pm on Wednesday and will remain in place overnight until 11am on Thursday.

“Rain will turn to snow across Scotland on Wednesday afternoon and evening, initially on high ground, but increasingly to lower levels.

“During Wednesday evening and night the risk of snow will extend southwards into more of northern England.

“Ten to 20cm snow is likely to accumulate above 200 metres with greater amounts at higher elevations.

“Amounts at low levels (below 100 metres) are less certain, but 5cm to 10 cm is likely in some places by Thursday morning.

“Snow will persist into Thursday morning, slowly dying out during the afternoon.”

The new amber alert is centred on the Cairngorms and A9, but extends down through the central belt and into the Cheviots, and on into the Pennines of northern England.

The yellow warning, meanwhile, covers most inland Highland areas - including parts of Caithness, Sutherland, Ross-shire, and Inverness-shire. It also extends across much of inland Scotland and south into the Pennines and the Peak District.

And the recent wintry weather shows no signs of letting up. The Met Office has issued a new yellow warning for snow and ice on Saturday, which will be in force from 3am to 9pm that day.

Commenting on the weekend’s alert, a Met Office spokesman added: “An area of rain pushing eastwards is expected to turn snow in places as it encounters colder air across Scotland and parts of northern and eastern England.

“At first the main hazard may be rain falling onto frozen surfaces leading to ice, especially on higher level routes. However snow becomes more likely during the early morning.

“Heavier snowfall is more likely above 200m in Scotland and northern England, where 5-10 cm of snow may accumulate, possibly 20cm on highest routes. At lower levels and further south, two to five centimetres of snow may accumulate in places, but the situation is finely balanced, with the possibility that most lower-lying areas, especially in the east, will see rain or sleet rather than snow.”

For the latest details, visit the Met Office's weather warnings page.

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