The Met Office has warned that parts of Scotland may see as much as 40cm of snow later this week.

A yellow alert for snow has been issued for the entire country south of Inverness, stretching from Jura in the west to Peterhead in the north east.

The national weather service predicts that heavy snow has the potential to cause “significant disruption” on Thursday and Friday. 

The warning comes into force at 3am on Thursday and extends through to 6pm on Friday, with prts of Scotland set to see the heaviest snow fall on Friday. 

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As much as 30-40cm of snow could be set to fall on parts of the Southern Uplands, the Central Belt and the southern Highlands, with potentially 15-20cm accumulation across northern areas. Other areas, even at low elevations, could see between 5-10 cm of snow, the warning notes. 

Scotland could also be met with blizzard conditions and drifting of lying slow given the potential for strong winds. 

The warning reads: Snow could develop quite widely across the warning area on Thursday and Friday as a potentially quite deep area of low pressure moves across the UK. Parts of Northern Ireland, north Wales and northern England are currently expected to see the worst of the conditions on Thursday, with parts of Scotland and northern England then seeing the heaviest snow on Friday.

"Event totals could bring 5 to 10 cm of snow to many locations, even at low elevations, with potentially 15 to 20 cm accumulating across the northern portion of the warning area. Higher elevations of the North Pennines, Southern Uplands, higher parts of the Central Belt and the southern Highlands may see as much as 30 to 40 cm of snow in places.

"In addition, there is potential for strong winds, which may lead to blizzard conditions and drifting of lying snow.

The Met Office said there is a small chance that “long delays and cancellations on bus, rail and air travel  could occur, alongside “long interruptions to power supplies and other services, such as gas, water, telephone and mobile phone coverage” may occur. 

There is also a slight chance that roads may become blocked by deep snow, with many stranded vehicles and passengers and a small chance that “communities could be cut off for several days”, it added.