SCOTLAND suffered a year of severe weather, ranging from blizzards, to 100mph-plus winds and torrential rain that caused widespread damage to property, difficult driving conditions and train derailments.

But 2012 also had one of the warmest March months since records began. Martin Williams looks back on a year of extremes.

January 3-4

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Winds of 102mph were recorded in Edinburgh as storms caused disruption across the central belt and north-east.

An investigation was launched after a plane was damaged by a bus shelter which was blown over a fence at Edinburgh Airport.

It came after figures showed that 2011 was the wettest year ever recorded in the area.

February 4

Motorists across Scotland were warned of icy roads because of sub-zero temperatures. A horse racing meeting at Musselburgh was abandoned due to parts of the track being frozen.

Four days later a severe weather warning is issued by the Met Office as freezing rain passes over the country.

March 25

Sunday spring sunshine set temperatures to a new record for Scotland. Fyvie Castle in Aberdeenshire, recorded a temperature of 22.8ºC, edging past the previous high of 22.2ºC set in March 1957 at Gordon Castle, in Moray, and again at Strachan, in Kincardineshire, in 1965.

Most of the UK was warmer than Barcelona, Nice, Majorca and southern Portugal. It was the third warmest March on record, outshone only by 1938 and 1957.

April 3

Six inches of snow hit Aberdeenshire. A mountain rescue team was called to assist a group of nine people – including six teenagers – in the Cairngorms. They were later flown to safety in Braemar. Hundreds of homes were without electricity.

Later in the month, heavy downpours struck with heavy snowfalls reported over hills and mountains in the Highlands.

May 10

Prince Charles and the Duchess of Cornwall read the weather live on TV during a tour of BBC Scotland to commemorate 60 years of TV broadcasting.

He said: "The best of the bright and dry weather will of course be in the northern isles and the far north of the mainland. So, a little hazy sunshine for the Castle of Mey in Caithness.

"But a cold day everywhere with temperatures of just 8ºC and a brisk northerly wind. Thank God it isn't a bank holiday."

Altnaharra in Sutherland was later declared the warmest place in the UK so far, topping 27ºC, as near record temperatures are recorded in Scotland.

June 19

Mild winter weather is thought to have contributed to a rise in crime in Scotland between October and March, with a 6% increase in the number of reports submitted by police to prosecutors.

July 18

Sandbags are distributed by Stirling and Clackmannanshire Councils after torrential rain in central Scotland cause a number of roads in the area to close as a result of flooding and two nursery schools are shut.

Two ScotRail trains hit landslips. The front carriage of the Rosyth to Dunfermline service derailed. Earlier, a train with 66 passengers and three crew hit a landslip between Oban and Crianlarich, near Loch Awe.

August 5

Storms and torrential rainfall devastate parts of Scotland with reports of series of mini-tornados across Dumfries and Galloway. One was reported at Annan and another near Dalbeattie. They were accompanied by torrential rain, thunder and lightning. Six residents had to be evacuated from their homes after flooding hit Galston.

September 24

Heavy rain and severe winds cause power cuts and travel problems and swept sea water across parts of Scotland. Ferry services were considerably disrupted and falling trees caused some problems on roads and railways. Damage to property was reported, but no injuries. A train travelling south from Aberdeen to Edinburgh suffered minor damage when it hit some fallen branches and a bus was hit in Aberdeen.

Also in September, high winds gathered up foam from the North Sea and swept it over Footdee in Aberdeen. Houses, streets and cars were covered in the off-white spume. Marine ecologists described the sea as acting like a washing machine during the storm, with the easterly gales generating and "incredible" amount of wave action. The foam was created when vast amounts of fast moving air mixed with organic material.

October 12

Severe rain brings flooding to parts of Scotland causing a number of roads to be closed. The force of the waters saw part of a house crumble away in Dura Den in Fife, which experienced more than half its average monthly rainfall in the space of just 12 hours, with about 30 homes affected by flooding.

November 19-23

Heavy rain, high winds and flooding cause disruption across Scotland with transport chaos.

Around 100 homes in Comrie, near Crieff, are at risk from flooding as the Water of Ruchill burst its banks.

Some residents were evacuated as a series of flood warnings and alerts were issued covering most of the country.

A rest centre was set up at Strathearn Community Campus in Crieff and another centre was also open at Comrie Community Centre.

The Rest and Be Thankful, part of the A83 in Argyll, had to be shut after 100 to 150 tons of debris was spread across the road and torrential rainfall blocked the drainage system, causing severe flooding on the road surface.

December 23

At least 400 householders needed to be rescued after waist-high flood water swept through the Aberdeenshire town of Stonehaven as Scotland experienced a deluge of heavy rain, with 31 flood warnings and 18 flood alerts issued.

December 5

Snow and ice brought treacherous driving conditions, particularly in the north-east of Scotland. Schools were closed in Aberdeenshire, Angus and Shetland. In Dumfries and Galloway, police said they had dealt with 39 separate road-traffic collisions in the space of 24 hours.