The Met Office has updated weather warnings across Scotland to an Amber ‘be prepared’ warning for snow - with up to 20cm expected in higher areas and 10cm at lower levels.

The Amber warning, in place from 3pm today until Thursday night, cautions of snow for much of mainland Scotland.

READ MORE: Scotland weather today: Heavy snowfall causing 'hazardous' conditions

A yellow warning for snow and ice came into force at 8am on Wednesday and is due to last through to 9pm on Thursday.

Forecasters have now added the additional Amber warning, highlighting the threat of heavy snow, with substantial disruption likely.

What is the forecast?

Rain will turn to snow across Scotland on Wednesday afternoon and evening, forecasters have indicatied, which will initially fall on high ground, but increasingly to lower levels.

Over the course of Wednesday evening and night the risk of snow will extend southwards, and 10 to 20 cm snow is likely to accumulate above 200 metres with greater amounts at higher elevations.

Amounts at low levels (below 100 metres) are less certain, but 5 to 10 cm is likely in some places by Thursday morning.

Snow will persist into Thursday morning, slowly dying out during the afternoon.

Currently in force, a yellow warning for snow and ice is in place as an area of rain pushing north-eastwards is expected to turn to snow in places as it encounters colder air across the country.

The Met Office has also urged caution after highlighting the "main hazard" of rain falling onto frozen surfaces and leading to ice, especially on higher level routes.

However, snow is more likely later on Wednesday and at points on Thursday, with heavier snowfall likely above 100m in Scotland where 5-10 cm of snow may accumulate, possibly 20 cm on highest routes.

At lower levels in Scotland, 2-5cm of snow may accumulate in places.

What are the risks?

There is the potential for travel delays on roads stranding some vehicles and passengers, especially across higher routes, with potential for road closures.

Likewise, snow and ice could cause delays or cancellations to rail and air travel.

Scots should be aware that power cuts may occur and other services, such as mobile phone coverage, could also be affected.

Untreated pavements and cycle paths might be dangerous or even impassable, posing a greater risk of injuries and accidents.

What areas are affected by the Met Office Amber warning for snow?

Central, Tayside & Fife

  • Angus
  • Clackmannanshire
  • Falkirk
  • Fife
  • Perth and Kinross
  • Stirling


  • Aberdeenshire
  • Moray

Highlands & Eilean Siar

  • Highland

SW Scotland, Lothian Borders

  • Dumfries and Galloway
  • East Lothian
  • Edinburgh
  • Midlothian Council
  • Scottish Borders
  • West Lothian


  • Argyll and Bute
  • East Dunbartonshire
  • Glasgow
  • North Lanarkshire
  • South Lanarkshire

In the Scottish Borders, the Council has warned adverse weather could cause problems through to the end of the week.

Jim Fraser, Emergency Planning Officer said: “With widespread snow and some freezing rain possible over the course of Wednesday and Thursday, there is the strong potential for disruption across our road network and communities. We may even see this warning upgraded to an amber warning if necessary.

“It is expected that the effects of these adverse weather conditions will continue to cause disruption for residents into Friday morning."

It comes after much of Scotland has experienced wintry conditions over the past month, and a spike in falls has led to fears of hospitals becoming "overwhelmed."

The Scottish Fire and Rescue Service and health boards across Scotland have urged people to take extra care when out and about and to stay at home where possible to help relieve pressure on the NHS.