Edinburgh Weather: Lothians set for freezing temperatures

Youngsters enjoy sledging in Holyrood Park. Picture: Jane Barlow
Youngsters enjoy sledging in Holyrood Park. Picture: Jane Barlow
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Weather forecasters have predicted the coldest Scottish winter in half a century, with temperatures set to plunge from tonight.

City chiefs insisted they were well prepared for the cold snap as bookies slashed the odds of a white Christmas to 5/2.

The move comes as Britain braces itself for one of the coldest November weekends on record as freezing Arctic winds send the mercury plummeting close to -11C in places.

The city has dedicated teams on standby and a contract for bringing in additional support for dealing with snow should this be necessary.

The council has stockpiled 16 tonnes of salt, has a fleet of 31 gritters and 21 mini pavement tractors, and has filled more than 2500 grit bins across the city.

Transport convener Councillor Lesley Hinds said: “We are prepared for whatever winter weather we have in store, and are monitoring forecasts closely.

“We already have salt stocked up, gritters ready to go and a team on hand 24/7 to respond to poor conditions on the city’s roads, cycle lanes and pavements.

“Our winter weather web pages also contain lots of useful information on where to find your nearest salt bin, priority gritting routes and advice on how to deal with severe weather.

“I would encourage everyone to visit the pages and make sure they look after themselves and one another over the colder months.”

When weather conditions require, the city council is able to grit more than 700 miles of roads, 120 miles of pavements, and almost 20 miles of cycle paths.

The Met Office said cold air will begin to sweep in from the north today, with snow possible to low levels over the weekend.

The average temperature across Scotland was due to fall to 7C today before plunging again to a maximum of 5C on Saturday, according to the Met Office.

Meanwhile, the average temperature in West Lothian at this time of year is 8.6C but will plunge to 4C on Saturday, with a chance of snowfall across the region.

The lowest November temperature ever was -10.5C (13.1F) in 1985 in the Highlands, but this weekend is likely to smash the record.

Piers Corbyn, forecaster for WeatherAction, said the weather is partly due to strengthening winds flowing in from the Arctic.

He said: “This weekend has been on the cards for a while and it’s going to be a real shock to the system with widespread sub-zero temperatures and snow likely. We could see the -10.5C record broken.”