Page last updated at 15:38 GMT, Monday, 21 December 2009

Snow and ice warning on all roads

Mini snow plough clearing snow
Despite all the snow, forecasters say ice is becoming the problem

Motorists have been warned to take extra care on the roads through the day after very low temperatures across the country overnight.

The Met Office issued a flash warning of widespread icy roads in Strathclyde, Stirling and Dumfries and Galloway.

The temperature fell to below freezing across the country, with ice and snow making many roads treacherous.

Aberdeen and Inverness airports were closed on Monday morning, but Aberdeen re-opened at about 0900 GMT.

Some flights in and out of Aberdeen were delayed, and there were also some inbound cancellations as a result of bad weather in other parts of the UK and Europe.

All other airports were reported to be open though delays were to be expected.

Police in Edinburgh warned that parts of the M8 were affected by ice and drivers were advised to watch their speed.

Grampian Police said snow had closed the A93 Braemar to Perth road at the Cairnwell, the A939 Cockbridge to Tomintoul at the Lecht and the B974 Fettercairn to Banchory road near the Cairn O'Mount was also badly affected.

There's more rain within the showers, but what's happening is, because the ground is still frozen solid, that rain is hitting the ground and freezing on impact
Peter Sloss
Met Office

In Perth And Kinross, the A93 is closed both ways due to snow and ice at Spittal of Glenshee.

More than 120 schools in the Highlands have been shut because of the weather, while all schools on Shetland were also closed.

In South Lanarkshire more than 25 schools were closed due to the wintry conditions, mainly in the Lanark, Strathaven and Biggar areas.

Several schools in North Lanarkshire shut early to allow pupils to be driven home by bus before the weather got worse.

Met Office forecaster Peter Sloss told BBC Scotland said the air was warming up a little bit.

But he added: "That means instead of snow showers coming in, there's more rain within the showers, but what's happening is, because the ground is still frozen solid, that rain is hitting the ground and freezing on impact so ice is the main problem."

He said the cold spell was going to stay through the Christmas period, though it does look like turning milder, wet and windy towards the New Year.

He added: "Frosts at night will still be quite severe so ice will continue to be a problem on untreated roads and pavements."

However, the weather was good news for one resident, as Mercedes the polar bear got her first proper taste of a Highland winter after moving from Edinburgh Zoo to a new purpose-built enclosure at the Highland Wildlife Park near Kingussie.


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