SCOTLAND woke up to winter chaos amid treacherous conditions as people were warned not to travel amid fears worsening weather could pose a threat to life.
All council run schools in Edinburgh, Midlothian, East Lothian and West Lothian have been closed along with nurseries.
Other areas were following suit, including Glasgow.
Edinburgh Academy, George Heriot’s, Edinburgh College campuses and West Lothian College are also shut. George Watson’s school said it was currently open.
Mary Erskine and Stewart’s Melville were also closed.
It comes after transport minister Humza Yousaf warned that today’s conditions could pose ‘a threat to life’.
Not everyone has heeded the advice, though.
Rescue operations were underway in West Lothian and Avon Gorge near Falkirk this morning after motorists became stranded including one who ignored road closed signs.
Lorries were blocking routes around the country after losing traction or jack-knifing.
One suffered a tyre blow out between Bathgate and Livingston, blocking the inside land and hard-shoulder in the run up to the main morning rush-hour.
Driving conditions in general were poor and expected to get worse, while pavements were also posing problems for some, particularly the elderly.
ScotRail said it had made several alterations to services in and out of Edinburgh Waverley and advise customers to check ahead if they really had to travel.
Bus services were subject to delays as even 70mph routes were reduced to a crawl, tripling journey times. Some motorists simply gave up and turned back.
Linlithgow Bridge was suffering long tailbacks while Glasgow Road in Edinburgh near to the Mariott Hotel was hit by a breakdown just before 8am.
Edinburgh and the Lothians has been put on Amber alert with suggestions that could be upgraded to the first Red Alert in 30 years as the day goes on, with 16 to 28 cm of snow predicted to hit some areas of the country, particularly on higher ground.
The alert is in place right through until tomorrow evening.
Temperatures were expected to be around -1 to -3 degrees in the city throughout the day. With wind-chill factored in, that is expected to feel more like -10 or worse.
Some areas of the country were also affected by power cuts. Aberdeen city centre was among those hit, with traffic lights going dark and homes and businesses affected.
Edinburgh Airport said it remained open after staff worked through the night, but Glasgow Airport said flights were being disrupted.
Strong winds have also been predicted, which is expected to cause even further problems, accompanied by lightning in some areas.
The Met Office issued an update at 7.30am saying it expected “significant disruption” and warned more snow is on its way.