Rail and ferry travel has been disrupted and dozens of schools have been shut in Scotland due to Storm Caroline’s strong winds.
Yellow warnings have been issued for snow, ice and wind on Friday and Saturday for large parts of the UK.
Scotland’s transport minister, Humza Yousaf, said the country faced “challenging conditions”.
Warnings were issued earlier this week of winds reaching 90mph over parts of Scotland during the storm.
A developing area of low-pressure, which will bring gales to parts of northern and western Scotland on Thursday morning, has been named as Storm Caroline.
Storm Caroline is expected to see winds gusting to 80mph near north-facing coasts, and reaching speeds of 60 to 70mph more widely in northern and north east Scotland.
The Met Office warned that the conditions could disrupt travel and has been forecast to hit Scotland on Thursday.
Snow and freezing temperatures have been forecast for Scotland, England, Northern Ireland and Wales on Friday and Saturday in the wake of Caroline.
The two previous named storms were Aileen in September and Brian in October.
A yellow “be aware” warning is in place for Scotland between 08:00 and 23:55 on Thursday.
The Met Office has also issued a Yellow National Severe Weather Warning for snow and ice for Friday. Yellow warnings have also been issued by the Met Office for 00:05 Friday to 18:00 Saturday covers much of Scotland, Northern Ireland, Wales and western England.
Snow is expected to fall across many other parts of Scotland, Northern Ireland, Wales and western England on Friday, with between 2cm and 5cm likely in some areas.
The strong winds may affect Scotland’s road, rail, air and ferry services, and longer journey times and cancellation of services are possible. As with any period of strong winds, there may be some short-term loss of power and effects on other services.
Things to do
Get your car tyres checked and make sure they have good tread on them – or if you can get them replaced by winter tyres
In some cases reduce the air pressure in the tyres by a small amount (3-5psi of the normal amount) to give you better traction in slippery conditions
Pack some blankets, water, maybe even light snacks in the boot of your car in case you are stranded, especially if you have children travelling with you regularly.
Get a bottle of antifreeze and a scraper ready in your car everyday.
When driving don’t be aggressive with the acceleration or braking. Slow gradual acceleration or braking is more effective than harsh accelerating or breaking
Slow driving will give you better control over the car
Do not attempt steep inclines, if the roads haven’t been gritted
Keep a extra few car lengths between you and the car in front.
Make sure you have a warm winter coat and gloves just in case you need to change a tyre
Check you breakdown membership is active
Allow at least an extra 15% journey time.
Check the essentials like engine coolant, water levels and De-icer screen-wash, all weather engine coolant is available at most auto-shops and check the compatibility with your car before purchase.
And most importantly, if the snow hits, avoid any unnecessary journeys.
If you are travelling by air – check with your operator to ensure you flight is still scheduled, especially if the weather takes a turn for the worst.
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