Two fresh yellow warnings for snow and ice issued in the Highlands by the Met Office; warnings which run into Hogmanay come amid difficult road conditions; Caithness, Sutherland, Inverness-shire, Badenoch and Strathspey, Ross-shire, Nairnshire, Lochaber and parts of the Great Glen among areas covered by one alert or the other
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TWO new weather warnings for snow and ice have been issued for parts of the Highlands over the next 50 hours.
The first of two snow and ice warnings comes into force at 3pm this afternoon, and will remain in place throughout all of Wednesday.
The alert covers all of Caithness and Sutherland, as well as most of Ross-shire, most of the Moray coastline, most of the Hebrides, parts of Inverness-shire, Lochaber, and northern Moray and Aberdeenshire.
A Met Office spokesman said: "Northerly winds will bring further showers of rain, sleet and snow across the north of Northern Ireland as well as northern and western Scotland.
"Snow accumulations will be generally confined to ground above 100m away from coasts, but some temporary slushy deposits are possible to low levels at times in any heavier showers. One to three centimetres is likely to accumulate above 100 metres, and as much as five to 10cm above 250 metres, this mostly across high ground of Scotland.
"Ice will form readily as temperatures quickly fall away rapidly through both Tuesday and Wednesday evenings."
A second warning, this time for snow, comes into effect at 6pm on Wednesday and will stay in place until 2pm on Hogmanay.
It covers most parts of the Highlands not covered by the first alert. This includes Inverness, the Cairngorms and parts of the Great Glen.
Speaking about the second warning, the Met Office spokesman added: “Showers are likely to merge into an area of rain, sleet and snow which is expected to move south across parts of eastern Scotland, northern and western England, and perhaps the far east of Wales overnight Wednesday, and through Thursday morning.
"Not all locations within this area will see snow, and indeed where it does snow it will not be snowing through the entire warning period. Accumulations of 1-3cm are most likely, with larger accumulations (most likely 5-10cm) confined to ground above 200 metres. Snow at low levels will quickly turn to rain across Scotland during early Thursday, becoming confined to ground above 500 metres.
"It will also steadily turn to rain at lower levels further south through the rest of the day whilst petering out."
The warnings come amid reports of difficult driving conditions plaguing parts of the region on Tuesday following overnight snow showers and freezing temperatures.
Highland Council said that a mix of snow, sleet, hail, rain and frozen roads had left some routes treacherous, with Badenoch and Strathspey, Wester Ross, Lochalsh and parts of Sutherland among those worst affected. It said that workers were out treating roads with "a heavy salting".
Elsewhere in the Highlands, a mix of hard packed snow and ice were being reported on some "secondary" routes. Ice was also a widespread problem across the Highlands as a whole.
The two new Met Office warnings follow an earlier alert for snow and ice which ran overnight from Monday into Tuesday and has since expired.
For the latest Met Office warning warnings, visit www.metoffice.gov.uk.
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