Gale force winds caused major disruption across the north yesterday – as forecasters predicted plummeting temperatures and snow flurries over the weekend.
Ferry services in the Western Isles, Orkney and Shetland all suffered cancellations and delays as high winds swept the Highlands and Islands and Moray.
The Churchill Barriers in Orkney were closed, while the Skye and Cromarty bridges were shut to high-sided vehicles.
Ski resorts also suffered. Cairngorm Mountain experienced strong winds reaching 70-90mph, with some gusts on the summit going over 100mph.
A spokesman said: “Due to the current high winds, which are forecast to increase, poor visibility and airborne ice chunks, snowsports are cancelled.
“Snow is also forecast. It is not looking too promising for tomorrow.”
The funicular railway, meanwhile, was also not operating because of snow drifts.
A spokeswoman for Ski Scotland added: “Glencoe was open to mid-mountain and Lecht had their wee Robin Sunkid operating.
“Others resorts – Glenshee, Nevis and Cairngorm – are stormbound with winds forecast to increase so not planning to open. Glenshee is also getting snow showers.”
The A95 Speybridge to Cromdale road, just south of Balmenach Road near to Kirk Road, was closed due to a fallen tree. Emergency services were called to the A947, two miles outside Fyvie, at around 3pm due to another fallen tree. The road was cleared at around 3.40pm.
The Gordon Schools in Huntly and Inverurie Academy had to replace double decker buses with single decker coaches due to the wind.
Calmac Ferries reported severe disruption to services off the West Coast, with cancellations and delays.
The main routes where sailings were stopped included Mallaig services to Canna, Muck, Rum, Lochboisdale and Oban.
Other sailings cancelled included Tarbet to Lochrane and Oban services to Castlebay, Coll and Oban.
There were disruptions to services on several other routes, including delays on the Ullapool to Stornoway sailings.
NorthLink were also experiencing problems to services between Aberdeen, Orkney and Shetland, with delays for arrivals yesterday and cancellations expected last night and today.
One of the first cruise liners due to visit Orkney this season has cancelled its stop due to the winds. The Astoria was due to tie up at Hatston Pier today, but will now bypass the islands.
Forecasters are meanwhile predicting more gales overnight into today as it also looks set to get colder across the north and north east with a likelihood of snow showers in the east.