Lightning and blizzards will strike TODAY with a foot of white stuff as Storm Gladys approaches
SCOTLAND will be hit by lightning and blizzards today as a foot of snow is forecast, with potential ‘life threatening’.
The Met Office has issued a yellow wind and snow weather warning for today and tomorrow across much of the country.
The warnings are in place from 1 p.m. today until 3 p.m. tomorrow, as Storm Gladys is expected to be named the next storm of the year – after Storm Franklin.
Winter conditions will be caused by a supercharged jet stream which will cause blizzard conditions, with up to a snowfall forecast for higher ground.
Areas such as Grampian and the Highlands have been warned of a “danger to life” on the roads where some vehicles and their passengers could become stuck in drifts.
Transport is expected to be affected, with possible road closures, service cancellations and longer journey times.
The Met Office warned: “There is a small risk of injury and danger to life from flying debris. There is a slight risk of damage to buildings, such as blown tiles from roofs
“There is a small risk of longer journey times or cancellations as road, rail, air and ferry services are affected. There is also a risk of some vehicles and passengers being stranded.”
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Frequent lightning strikes could cause power cuts if they hit power lines and rural communities risk being cut off.
School closures should be announced as education authorities will not want children traveling in dangerous weather.
Even low lying areas like Glasgow, Edinburgh and the central belt can expect several inches or 5cm of snow, which was enough in the past to cause roads to become impassable.
Bridges, including the Tay and Forth crossings, could face restrictions for heavy goods vehicles and double-decker buses.
Tiles could be blown off roofs and cell phone signals could be lost in the worst affected areas.
The series of yellow “caution” weather warnings follows three unprecedented named storms in a week, Dudley, Eunice and Franklin, which hit the country with hurricane-force winds.
‘RAIN, WIND AND SNOW IN THE FORECAST’
Stephen Dixon of the Met Office said a pattern was now emerging of deeply unsettled weather caused by the ribbon of air high in the atmosphere, operating at 200mph and the low-pressure ‘super-charging’ systems pulling in from Atlantic.
He said: “The unstable conditions we are seeing at the moment are being driven by an active jet stream which is helping to deepen low pressure systems and send them towards the UK.
“Yellow weather warnings have been issued for much of Scotland, with forecasts of rain, wind and snow for the next few days.
“A yellow wind warning, which covers much of south-east Scotland, takes effect from 6am Wednesday morning and lasts until 3pm.
“A wider wind and snow warning, which covers much of Scotland except the Far East, comes into effect from 1 p.m. Wednesday and lasts until 3 p.m. Thursday.
“In the warning areas, gusts will be widely 50-60 mph, with the possibility of hitting 70 mph on exposed coasts.”
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The continued disturbance warning is high enough on the Met Office matrix to suggest it could become the eighth named storm of the winter, Storm Gladys.
The Scottish Government is likely to activate its Emergency Resilience Room, which tries to mitigate the worst impacts of the weather on transport and infrastructure.
The Scottish Environmental Protection Agency (SEPA) had seven flood warnings in place.
Scottish and Southern Energy (SSEN) still had 1,000 repair crews working yesterday to restore power cut by Storm Eunice last Friday.
As of 8.30am today, they had reconnected 180,000 customers mainly in the south of England, affected by what is described as the region’s worst storm in 30 years.
Richard Gough of SSEN said: “Our teams have been working hard overnight to restore power to customers who are still not powered by Storm Eunice and we are making good progress.
“The remaining faults mainly relate to our low voltage network where smaller pockets of customers will start to resupply.
“I would like to thank all customers for their patience and understanding. I know it is incredibly frustrating and inconvenient not to be supplied for several days and I want to reassure customers that we are doing everything we can to get customers back on supply as quickly and safely as possible. .