Dreams of an early spring were dashed yesterday as the north-east of Scotland was caught off-guard by a massive blast of snow which closed roads and forced pupils out of school.
A blizzard swept into Aberdeen, Aberdeenshire and Moray yesterday afternoon, just hours after a Met Office warning of snow for the region had been lifted.
The forecasters said the snow storm – which resulted in several inches landing from Keith to Banff, Alford, Banchory, Braemar and Aberdeen – was caused by mild weather colliding with the cold of Storm Jake.
A warning was placed on the A98 Fraserburgh to Fochabers road, around Banff, whilst police warned of “deteriorating conditions” on the A939 Bridge of Gairn to Tomintoul road at the Lecht in the afternoon.
The A93 North Deeside Road was closed from Braemar’s School Road and the Spittal of Glenshee due to the wintry weather.
Traffic Scotland issued a warning to motorists after the A96 between Huntly and Fochabers was left blanketed in “heavy snow”.
Kemnay Academy was closed while children were sent home early from Banff Academy and Whitehills School due to the conditions.
Aberdeenshire Council’s gritters took to the roads at 5.30am, but were back out at 3.30pm to treat surfaces.
The Met Office has placed a yellow warning of ice across Grampian which will last until 9am today and has warned of the wintry weather continuing until tomorrow.
Temperatures are set to drop to under -3C in Aberdeen this morning, with lows of below 0C anticipated from Elgin to Peterhead and all through Aberdeenshire.
Braemar and Aboyne was expected to drop to -2C overnight into this morning, with a similar forecast for tonight.
Snow is expected to accompany the dropping temperatures overnight and throughout today, which the Met Office said would be “unsettled”.
Met Office meteorologist, Lindsay Mears, said: “Storm Jake’s impact was actually more on the south-west of England, but obviously it does have a knock-on effect on wider parts of the UK.
“There are warnings in place for ice at the moment for Grampian and everywhere in Scotland, apart from Orkney and Shetland.
“It is really hard to forecast snow. It can be difficult to predict. It can fall as rain or snow.
“Thursday is drier and brighter and really a bit more unsettled. Friday will return to a bit more settled conditions. There will possibly be a bit more snow on Friday.”