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Weather stations report big freeze

Winter has come early to the Highlands as areas plummeted to their coldest September temperatures for nearly 30 years last night, with -4.4°C recorded at one weather centre.

Two weather sites in Scotland hit record lows, although the temperatures across the country were milder.

Tulloch Bridge recorded a temperature of -4.2°C, and Tyndrum -4.4°C – the coldest temperatures recorded since they opened in 1982 and 1990 respectively.

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“It was very chilly up there”, said Met office forecaster Mark Seltzer. “These are the coldest temperatures recorded at this time of year since the stations opened.

“The conditions were right there for the temperature to drop, although these were the two coldest spots.”

And the forecaster said we are set for an unsettled week.

Mr Seltzer said: “It will be another quite chilly night in some parts, and then there will be spells of heavy rain with dry spells in between – sometimes chilly, and sometimes mild.”

The weekend of snowfall signalled ski resorts could be in for another record year.

Temperatures plunged from a pleasant double digit earlier last week to below zero with motorists waking to frosty windscreens.

But for the Cairngorms, which enjoyed a record-breaking winter sports season, it was a white end to September. It comes just weeks after an early snowfall at the end of August.

Snow fell on the Scottish mountain range from Saturday night into yesterday, and hillwalkers had to wear their winter woollies and specialist equipment as they enjoyed blue, sun-filled skies with slippery conditions underfoot.

Children took advantage with some of the earliest snowmen ever built on the Cairngorms.

There was insufficient snow for skiers, but staff at the resort were hoping for another busy year on the slopes.

A warning was issued for hillwalkers yesterday, not for frostbite, but for the high risk of sunburn.

Last year the resorts took advantage of the coldest winter for around 100 years. Ski Scotland estimated the country had its best ski season in 14 years. The five mountain resorts attracted 373,782 skiers and are believed to have brought £37.5 million into the economy since November.

In June, there was still enough snow on the slopes for about 150 skiers and snowboarders to enjoy the unseasonal weather.

Lindsay Coleman, of Cairngorm Mountain, said she hoped the dusting of snow was a sign of things to come. She said: “We have had snow early before, but this must be the earliest.

“We hope this early snow is a sign of things to come. Application forms are pouring in for season passes. Numbers are definitely up already but we will have to limit it to 1500.”

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