Police and ministers have issued 'be prepared' advice as a danger to life weather warning was issued for most of Scotland as Storm Arwen sweeps in with 75mph winds and snow.

A yellow and amber warning from the Met Office is in place covering the whole of Scotland over high winds running from 3pm today (Friday) till 9am on Saturday.

The Met Office says flying debris is likely "and could lead to injuries or danger to life".

The highest gusts of 65mph to 75mph are expected in eastern coastal areas.

It comes as snow has already begun hitting parts of Scotland.

Transport Scotland has warned that conditions are likely to impact travel, particularly during peak times on Friday evening.

They said that there is also potential for restrictions on bridges, which could impact the large number of high-sided vehicles expected to be on the trunk road network for Black Friday.

A Multi Agency Response Team is being formed for the duration of the warning periods to closely monitor conditions, it said.

The Met Office's new warning states there will be probable damage to trees, temporary structures and buildings and a risk of tiles being blown from roofs.

It warned people of longer journey times and cancellations likely as road, rail, air and ferry services may be affected.

Some roads and bridges are likely to close, while there is a good chance that power cuts may occur with the potential to affect other services, such as mobile phone coverage.

Storm Arwen is moving in from the North Sea and will begin to travel south before easing on Sunday.

HeraldScotland:

Superintendent Simon Bradshaw, at Police Scotland's roads policing section said: "We are asking motorists to be prepared for the potential for widespread strong winds and the risk of snow following the Amber and Yellow weather warnings from the Met Office.

"You should allow extra time for your journey, ensure your vehicle is sufficiently fuelled and drive to the road conditions. Consider taking some warm clothes, food and water within your vehicle, in case of delays and ensure your mobile phone is fully charged.

"I would urge motorists to check the Met Office and Traffic Scotland websites and social media before setting out on their journey, particularly in those areas most affected by the predicted adverse weather.”

Stephen Dixon, a Met Office spokesman, said: "Storm Arwen has been named on the back of a deep low-pressure system moving to the north-east of the UK, which has brought about our amber wind warning on Friday.

"The worst affected areas will predominantly be on the coasts, with gusts of over 75mph bringing possible disruption to travel and longer journey times, power cuts, flying debris and large waves with beach material being thrown around.

"There is also a yellow warning of wind in place along the west coast of the UK from 9am on Friday, stretching from Scotland, through Northern Ir eland and Wales and as far as south-west England.

"This reflects the impact Storm Arwen will have, with strong winds likely to occur into Saturday, when the warning is extended to most parts of the UK.

"The south-east and London, though fairly windy, are likely to escape the worst of the gusts and remain relatively calm in comparison to the rest of the country, which will certainly feel the impact of the storm."

Minister for Transport Graeme Dey said: “The first storm of the winter period, Storm Arwen, is set to impact Scotland tomorrow and Saturday. The whole country is going to see blustery conditions, but the Met Office is telling us that eastern parts of Scotland in particular are going to see some difficult weather.

“The strongest winds are expected to reach 75mph in some places, and will likely bring some heavy rainfall and snow over higher ground.

“There is the potential for disruption on the roads, especially on bridges, and people should check the latest information before they set off, drive to the conditions and follow Police Scotland advice. The Traffic Scotland service gives details of ‘wind based’ closures for the bridges on trunk road network, allowing people to plan ahead accordingly.

“Motorists should check Traffic Scotland before they set off to make sure that their route is available.

“The conditions are also likely to lead to disruption on other modes of transport, so we are urging people to take the weather into account if they are planning to travel on trains, ferries and flights.”

Scottish Government-appointed maintenance firm Bear Scotland said restrictions may be required on bridges such as Skye Bridge, Kessock Bridge, Dornoch Bridge, Cromarty Bridge, Friarton Bridge and the Forth Road Bridge. The A1, in south east Scotland, is also expected to be impacted by the high winds.

Eddie Ross, Bear Scotland’s operating company representative for the North West, said: “We are fully prepped and are closely monitoring conditions and will act quickly when required."