Scotland's weather: Flood risk as temperatures forecast to soar before pre-Christmas cold snap
The sudden change will follow a yellow severe warning for snow and ice which is in force for most of mainland Scotland until 9pm on Sunday. A higher amber warning of ice covers northern England until 8pm.
The Met Office said freezing weather was forecast to return later this week but it was too early to say whether there would be a white Christmas. The last of the remaining 115 homes in Shetland still without power after Monday’s heavy snowfall were reconnected on Sunday.
ScotRail cancelled trains on routes north and west of Inverness on Sunday because of the conditions, with CalMac suspending sailings to Barra, Eriskay, the Small Isles, Kintyre-Arran and Mallaig-South Uist amid forecast winds of 57mph. Sailings to Coll and Tiree were halted by a ferry engine fault.
Transport Scotland said all trunk roads were clear of snow, although the A82 north of Balloch was closed until 3am on Sunday. The Scottish Government agency said the coldest road surface temperature was -6.1C at Aultguish on the A835 north west of Inverness.
BEAR Scotland, which maintains the Queensferry Crossing on behalf of the agency, said the risk of ice building up on the bridge’s towers remained “high”, as it been last week, but not at “severe” level when previous closures had been ordered because of the risk of damage to people and vehicles.
The Scottish Environment Protection Agency (Sepa) said some flooding was possible over the next two days due to the thaw. Flood duty manager Vincent Fitzsimons said: “We’re not expecting significant flooding over the next few days but there is a possibility of localised flooding impacts in rural areas on Monday and into Tuesday morning which could affect agricultural land and low-lying transport routes.
“Snow melt can cause more significant flooding if there is a lot of lying snow, and if the thaw is both rapid and coincides with rain in the hills. At the moment we don’t expect these conditions to coincide, but Sepa is working very closely with the Met Office to check the latest predictions, and we will be monitoring rainfall, river and coastal levels 24/7.
“Communities can check Sepa’s latest assessments via our website at sepa.org.uk/floodupdates.”
The expected peak temperature of 14C on Monday in places such as Edinburgh compares to -17.3C in Braemar on Tuesday – the coldest temperature since February 2021. The Aberdeenshire village is expected to be 10C on Monday.
Met Office forecaster Marco Petagna said both daytime and night-time temperatures are expected to increase over the next couple of days. He said: "At the moment, daytime temperatures are low single figures, and in places are staying below freezing under snow.
"But for daytime temperatures by Monday, we're looking at across the UK highs of 11C to 14C.”
Petagna said the changing conditions were due to winds shifting from the north to the west and south west, bringing milder air off the Atlantic rather than from the Arctic. Peter Jenkins of Water UK said the rise in temperature could cause burst pipes. He said: "We're urging everyone to check pipes are well insulated."