Storm Eunice brings snow and strong winds to southern Scotland

Storm Eunice is battering the UK. Credit: Met Office

Motorists are facing difficult driving conditions in Scotland as Storm Eunice sweeps in, bringing heavy snow.

A Met Office weather warning for snow is in place between 3am and 6pm on Friday, while a wind warning encompasses the south-west of Scotland's borderlands, including most of Dumfries and Galloway.

Snow is forecast throughout the day for most of mainland Scotland south of Inverness and Fort William and it disrupted travel on Friday morning.

Traffic Scotland reported vehicles getting stuck on the A68 near Soutra in the Scottish Borders. In the Central Belt, the M8 was closed eastbound at junction five due to the heavy snow, though it later reopened.

Further north, there has been even more disruption. The snow gates were closed at Spittal of Glenshee and Braemar, while police said the B974 at Cairn o’Mount was closed due to adverse weather conditions.

Ferry passengers also faced disruption on Friday due to adverse weather. Both Stena Line and P&O have cancelled ferries from Cairnryan to Larne.

More details of travel disruption in our region can be found here.

Storm Eunice follows strong winds from Storm Dudley that caused significant disruption to rail and ferry services, with trees blown on to train tracks and overhead power lines.

Scotland’s Deputy First Minister John Swinney said he chaired a meeting of the Scottish Government’s resilience team and that Storm Eunice “will bring risk of snow and strong winds across most of Scotland on Friday and danger of coastal flooding in south-west Scotland”.

He added: “Please follow all advice and only travel if safe to so do.”

With more than 20cm of snow predicted on higher ground and 5cm elsewhere, Scottish Mountain Rescue warned there was a risk of “dangerous conditions”, including the possibility of avalanches.

The organisation’s vice chairman Kev Mitchell said: “The weekend forecast is for very unsettled and, at times, dangerous conditions.

“With the arrival of Storm Eunice on Friday, hills will see high winds and the potential for snowfall to low levels meaning the avalanche forecast will be likely to worsen.

“Good decision-making is key in these situations and often the decision not to go, whilst correct, is the hardest one to make."

Specialist mountain weather forecasts are predicting sustained periods of gales or hurricane-force winds on higher terrain for the next week, with snow, rain and hail expected most days.

Despite the snow forecast, ScotRail said it does not expect the same levels of disruption from Storm Eunice as from Storm Dudley but has pre-emptively announced some trains will not be running.David Simpson, operations director at ScotRail Alliance, told BBC Radio Scotland’s Good Morning Scotland programme just after 8am: “Services are running very well at present, we are running a full timetable on the vast majority of routes and it’s running well.”

Network Rail Scotland announced it has five locomotives fitted with snow ploughs to use as required. It is spraying de-icer on key junctions and extra staff will be deployed to deal with any problems.

The Met Office yellow alert for Friday warns there is a chance of travel delays on roads, possibly with stranded vehicles and passengers, along with delayed or cancelled rail and air travel and a slight chance that some rural communities could be temporarily cut off