'Ivan the Terrible' savages the county
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A weather system dubbed Ivan the Terrible has blown in from southern Russia to "savage Caithness", according to a Wick weather watcher.
Children across the county were undeterred by the onset of Ivan the Terrible, however, and were delighted to be out sledging and making snowmen across parks and gardens.
Keith Banks, who writes a monthly weather column for the Groat, said that there is no prospect of any change in the current weather pattern.
"Easterly winds are currently sourcing bitterly cold continental air from the Ukraine, and the steppe expanses of Volga and Caucasus regions in southern Russia as 'Ivan the Terrible' continues to savage Caithness and other parts of the far north," he said.
He added that with an intense "blocking" anticyclone expected to build over Scandinavia, later in the week, the flow of frigid continental air across the region will continue.
On Monday night, 4cm (1.6 inches) of snow fall was deposited on Wick, with the overnight temperature in the town plunging to a severe minus 7.0C (19.4F).
"This value is the lowest ambient temperature we've witnessed in Wick since 19 December 2010," said Keith.
"December 2010, proved to be Wick's coldest December on record. The mean temperature in Wick is 2.8C below average for February.
"Snow showers have continued to arrive off the North Sea, with the wind chill factor as low as minus 8.3C (17.0F), in the showers."
The Highland Council said that temperatures throughout Caithness were very low this morning with Halkirk recording -9C.
"Light snow covering on most routes with up to two inches on high routes. Some drifting in Dunbeath area overnight. Roads being treated by priority and footpaths also.
Snow was also affecting much of Sutherland with two to six inches recorded and "drifting on higher routes". The B9176 Struie hill road remains closed due to heavy drifting snow. The A894 Skiag – Newton Junction has re-opened.
Maps of the Council’s gritting routes by priority and policy are available online at www.highland.gov.uk/gritting