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Met office warning issued for Caithness as snow closes schools


By David G Scott

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Huge swathes of the Highlands have been affected by freezing temperatures this morning with the Met Office issuing a Yellow Warning for more more snow in parts of Caithness and Sutherland.

Wick High School announced it has taken the decision to close the school to staff and pupils "due to snowfall overnight and the prospect of more today".

View towards the Pilot House in Wick this morning with an extensive covering of snow and more predicted.Picture: Alan Hendry
View towards the Pilot House in Wick this morning with an extensive covering of snow and more predicted.Picture: Alan Hendry

"Learning will continue online, as it has done during lockdown so far," it said.

Noss Primary and Nursery has also been closed by the adverse weather conditions.

At 8.56am Highland Council reported "very low temperatures this morning in Caithness" with a fresh covering of snow since 6am on all routes that was two to three inches deep. Some snow is drifting on higher ground.

Paths are being treated throughout Wick this morning. Picture: DGS
Paths are being treated throughout Wick this morning. Picture: DGS

"Main routes have been bladed – all routes being treated by priority. Town and village footpaths are also being treated," reads today's council bulletin.

In Sutherland, the council reported at 8.30am that all routes are affected by "hard packed snow and ice" – some with a fresh covering of up to two inches.

The A897 Helmsdale to Kinbrace road remains closed due to drifting snow but the A836 Lairg to Tongue road has now reopened. The A837 between Oykel and Ledmore has now reopened but the lorry which caused the closure still awaits recovery.

Snow covers rooftops over Pulteneytown in Wick this morning.Picture: Alan Hendry
Snow covers rooftops over Pulteneytown in Wick this morning.Picture: Alan Hendry

Official Met Office weather stations recorded a low of -15.6C at Altnaharra in Sutherland last night – the UK's coldest night of the winter so far. Other particularly cold spots included Tomatin (-15.3C), Kinbrace (-15C) and Lairg (-14.8C), but huge swathes of the Highlands also saw temperatures plummet well below freezing.

The council warns drivers to be aware that conditions can change rapidly and to make their own assessments before travelling.

Pedestrians walk carefully down Seaforth Avenue. Picture: DGS
Pedestrians walk carefully down Seaforth Avenue. Picture: DGS

ScotRail has warned that trains between Glasgow Queen Street and Inverness will be “delayed or revised” until at least 1pm because of “severe weather” and they have advised passengers to check their journey before travelling.

The Met Office yellow warning is in place until 11.59pm on Wednesday. Track any changes to this weather warning throughout the course of the day herewww.metoffice.gov.uk/

The slope at the top of Harmsworth Park in Wick was perfect for sledging on today.Picture: DGS
The slope at the top of Harmsworth Park in Wick was perfect for sledging on today.Picture: DGS

It predicts more snow in Caithness, eastern Sutherland, Easter and Mid Ross, the Black Isle, Inverness and parts of Nairnshire. The warning covers the UK’s entire east coast. A separate amber warning for snow is also in force in Perthshire, Fife, and parts of the central belt.

Maps of the Council’s gritting routes by priority and policy are available online at www.highland.gov.uk/gritting

Road closure warning in Halkirk


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