CARS were left stranded in dirty snow in the north of Scotland after gale force winds blew the snow from fields on to the roads, covering the vehicles.

The cars were stuck on the A98 near Buckie, Moray, yesterday after snow ploughs could not cope with the conditions.

The road was closed, with no sign of re-opening imminently.

And the A93, linking Perth to Braemar, Aberdeenshire, was hit by a “significant” avalanche on Saturday night at Baddoch, near Glenshee Ski Centre.

Braemar Mountain Rescue Team said the road was “impassable”.

No cars were on the route because it had been closed by snow gates.

A statement on its Facebook page read: “Winter continues. This used to be the A93 but it’s been buried by a significant avalanche overnight rendering it impassable. Luckily, the road had been closed by snow gates. Some of the team are deployed to check the debris.”

Several routes in Aberdeenshire and Moray were closed after heavy snowfall.

HeraldScotland:

The A947 Turriff to Aberdeen, A947 Oldmeldrum to Newmachar, A98 at Fochabers and Fraserburgh, A939 Nairn to Tomintoul/Dava Way were all closed.

The B9170 Inverurie to Oldmeldrum was closed but later re-opened.

The coldest UK temperature for 65 years was recorded at Braemar on Wednesday night, when the mercury dropped to -23C.

Inspector Allen Shaw, of North East Police Division, said yesterday: “We are strongly advising motorists to avoid travelling due to adverse weather conditions.

“There are a number of other roads closed in the area, so we ask everyone to please consider if your journey is absolutely essential and whether you can delay it until the weather improves.

“If you deem your journey really is essential, plan ahead and make sure you and your vehicle are suitably prepared for the adverse conditions.

“We urge motorists to adhere to road closure signs because they are in place for a reason. Please use alternative routes to avoid getting your vehicle stuck or in difficulty.”

Freezing rain, treacherous ice and 80mph gusts marked the end of the Scotland’s cold snap yesterday.

Strong winds were expected to hit parts of western Scotland and Northern Ireland’s east coast up to midnight last night, the Met Office said. A yellow weather warning for ice was in place for most of Scotland, northern England and the Midlands until 9pm.

HeraldScotland:

Met Office forecaster Luke Miall said temperatures will begin to increase from today, with the mercury rising to 13C in some parts of the UK and 10C in Scotland.

However, Mr Miall said the weather will be “quite wet and windy” for most of the week.

He said: “We will be hovering between 7C to 12C, I suspect, through Tuesday, Wednesday Thursday.

“Most of the snow will start melting early in the week, with the exception being Scotland because they have had so much of it.”

Mr Miall said gusts of 81mph had been recorded on the island of South Uist in the Outer Hebrides.

Freezing rain had also been reported in eastern Scotland and north-east England, with some tree branches and cars given an “icy coating”, added Mr Miall.