PERSISTENT snow showers are expected to cause traffic chaos on the roads tomorrow – despite the official start of spring.
The latest bout of snow follows blizzards earlier this week which brought much of the Capital to a standstill.
Motorists are being warned to take extra care and avoid unnecessary journeys as a second wave is forecast to hit on Friday.
The mercury could plummet as low as -6C in the Borders and -2C in Edinburgh, making driving conditions treacherous.
City and Borders Council bosses said they are monitoring the weather but expected schools to stay open for the last morning of term tomorrow. Gritting teams are out in force in a bid to keep roads passable after rush-hour snow left thousands facing traffic misery across the region last week.
Key arterial routes including the City Bypass, Queensferry Road and the M8 all ground to a halt on the back of heavy snowfalls as motorists complained of un-gritted roads and reported delays of more than an hour.
But environment convener Councillor Lesley Hinds said the local authority was determined to keep on top of the unseasonal weather. She said: “We get detailed weather forecasts three times a day from the Met Office and our gritting teams work around the clock to help keep the city moving.
“I’d advise residents to keep an eye out for updates on our website and social media, and to make sure they look out for themselves and each other when they’re out and about.”
A “yellow” warning issued by the Met Office is still in place, with sub-zero temperatures expected to last into next week.
Forecasters said the snowy front will move up from the south on Friday, causing more persistent snowfall than earlier this week.
A spokeswoman for the Meteogroup organisation said there was a strong chance it would settle on higher ground.
She said: “On Friday there could be a few centimetres in the day and continuing into the night.
“Then Saturday is forecast to be a cold day with further snow showers which could stay into next week. It will give a decent covering, which is unusual for this time of year.”
RAC spokesman Simon Williams said he expected call-outs to increase by up to 30 per cent as a result of the Arctic conditions.
He said: “Fridays are one of the busiest days of the week so inevitably there will be all kinds of problems on the roads from increased numbers of road traffic accidents to call-outs for frozen locks and windscreen wipers.
“We thought the worst of the weather was over but not in Scotland.
“Our advice would be to only travel if essential.”