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Heavy snow hits Scotland...and there's more to come

Heavy snow has closed schools and roads across the country, with further disruption expected over the weekend.

The white stuff is expected to continue falling until around 10pm but rising temperatures and rain on Saturday could lead to flooding problems, forecasters have warned.

Amber "be prepared" weather warnings from the Met Office remain in place for Tayside, Fife, Grampian, the Highlands, Strathclyde and the Borders with 20cm of snow due in parts.

A spate of roads have been closed in Aberdeenshire due to a combination of weather and accidents while police in Central, Tayside and the Borders have urged drivers to travel with care as snow begins to lie on the roads.

Flights were diverted from Aberdeen airport to Edinburgh as the north east continues to see the worst of the weather.

Dozens of schools in the area were closed again today along with others in Angus, Perthshire and Dumfries and Galloway.

The opening show of the Big Burns Supper in Dumfries was cancelled because of the snow, but organisers said other events planned for the weekend are scheduled to go ahead.

Paul Mott, a forecaster with Meteogroup, said: "An area of heavy snow has been spreading north east across most of the country and will continue into the night until around 10pm.

"The Southern Uplands could see probably 20cm by tonight while Stirling, Kinross and the Borders could see about 15cm of snowfall and strong winds will lead to drifting in the central area.

"The good news is that this is likely to be the last of the snow for a while for most parts of the country and the weekend will be milder with temperature highs of up to 7C.

"There is some rain on the way on Saturday and into Sunday, however, and that could lead to localised flooding in the areas where there has been heavy, consistent snowfall during the week."

David Faichney, hydrology manager for the Scottish Environment Protection Agency, said the south of the country will be worst affected by rising water levels over the weekend.

He said: "The arrival of milder temperatures will lead to a thaw of low lying snow in many places, which will result in a rise in river levels across the country.

"No significant flooding is expected from larger rivers, however some localised flooding may occur from surface water and smaller watercourse in Dumfries and Galloway and the Borders area where the thaw is expected to be greatest and the rainfall heaviest.

"The north and east of Scotland are forecast to experience a gentler thaw and less rainfall than the South and west of the country during this period with the risk of flooding in these areas very low."

Transport minister Keith Brown said freezing temperatures, hard-packed ice and fresh snow will lead to "testing journeys" for some people.

"I would urge the public to take on board police advice about driving to the conditions, planning ahead and taking notice of travel updates," he said.

"Despite the high level of service and winter treatments provided, sudden weather changes can occur and stopping distances increase tenfold when driving in snow and ice."

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