WEATHER warnings have been issued for the Lothians with forecasters saying blizzard conditions will hit the area over the coming days.
The Met Office has issued an amber “be prepared” warning in Mid and West Lothian, with strong winds forecast and up to 10cm of snow expected to fall this morning.
Towns including Livingston and Lasswade are among those set to see heavy snowfall.
In Edinburgh and East Lothian, where between two and five centimetres of snow is expected to fall, a yellow warning has been issued.
A spokesman for the Met Office said: “It will feel very cold in the wind and again, temperatures will struggle to get above freezing, though it will feel colder.
“Snow will reach parts of Scotland during Friday morning.
“Four to eight centimetres is likely quite widely within the amber warning area, with a low risk of more than 10cm locally even on lower ground.
“Strong winds will also lead to drifting and blizzard-like conditions, particularly over higher level roads in the north.”
Any snow lying in the Edinburgh area is likely to thaw from Sunday into Monday.
Stormy weathers are set to return on Sunday, with a yellow warning in place for rain, though Edinburgh looks likely to escape localised flooding.
Scotland’s 15-day chill started on January 12 – beating February 2012’s 13-day chill to be the longest cold spell since December 2010’s month-long freeze.
A spokesman for Edinburgh Airport said: “We have set up snow teams over the winter period who have been able to deal with snow for the past couple of weekends – we’re ready to deal with it when it comes.” Transport Minister Keith Brown urged the public to drive carefully due to the conditions and asked them to plan ahead and take notice of travel updates.
Assistant Chief Constable Allan Moffat, speaking on behalf of the Association of Chief Police Officers in Scotland, said: “There is now an amber warning in place for large areas of Scotland which will be affected by snow and ice and where there may be disruption to travel.
“This means that people should be prepared for severe weather conditions and make appropriate arrangements. We would urge people to be aware of the threat of disruption and to check with radio and TV bulletins and online before making their journey. “It is also important that the advice and warnings given to those wishing to travel in the areas affected are heeded as the conditions may be hazardous.”
Councillor Lesley Hinds, environment leader, said: “Our gritting teams continue to work round the clock to ensure that we keep the city moving during the ongoing cold spell.”