Forecasters issue amber alert of heavy snowfalls in southern Scotland
An amber weather warning of heavy snow showers has been issued across southern Scotland.
The Met Office alert is in place from 14:00 to 21:00 over much of Dumfries and Galloway, the Borders and into South Lanarkshire and East Ayrshire. There have already been flurries of snow, biting cold winds and heavy rain in Glasgow and West Dunbartonshire.
Snow showers were expected to become “frequent and heavy” with up to 10cm (4in) expected in a few hours.
Strong winds – gusting to over 50mph – were forecast to lead to “blizzard conditions” at times.
The Met Office said travel delays were “likely” with the possibility of vehicles and passengers becoming stranded.
It also warned of potential rail cancellations and said there was a “good chance” some rural communities could become cut off.
It said power cuts were likely and mobile phone coverage could be affected.
Dumfries and Galloway Council said a multi-agency meeting had been arranged ahead of the weather warning.
It said it was monitoring the situation and would issue any updates “as appropriate”.
A further weather warning – yellow this time – has been issued for rain across much of southern Scotland on Friday.
The wintry conditions had already caused a range of other problems across the country ahead of the amber warning.
Rail passengers in the south of the country were facing disruption after a landslip closed the line between Kilmarnock and Dumfries.
On the roads, there were reports of blizzards on some routes, and the M74 was closed southbound between junction 12 and 13 at Abington due to a road accident.
Images posted on Facebook by police showed a lorry had shed its load, blocking all three lanes of the motorway.