Mountain rescuers are warning walkers to consider the conditions before heading out in the hills this weekend.
Snow is forecast on high ground going into the early May bank holiday weekend.
The Met Office says temperatures could drop to around freezing, with snow over the hills in Grampian and the Highlands.
The strong and very cold northerly winds could reach gale force in Shetland overnight on Friday and Saturday.
Cold rain, hail and sleet are expected in lower areas but any snow which falls is not expected to settle.
Braemar Mountain Rescue warned people planning to spend the bank holiday in the hills to think about the weather first.
Support manager Malcolm MacIntyre said: “We would never say not to go out – but people need to consider what a dusting of snow could mean.
“If you are going into the Cairngorms, snow on the ground could be quite treacherous.
“There are some people who think because it is spring or summer they can get away with shorts and t-shirt.
“It is not the date, but the conditions which matter.
One of the difficulties the Braemar team faces is communicating the risks to tourists.
Mr MacIntyre added: “Increasingly, visitors seem to be underestimating the Scottish mountains.
“They must think: ‘Some of these hills are only 1,000metres (3280ft)– how bad can it be?’
“The answer is when the weather’s bad – it can be very treacherous.”
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Meteorologists think the worst should pass by Sunday, but warn it will remain cold throughout the weekend.
Met Office forecaster Steven Keates said: “We are now into first week of May so this is notable, but not exceptional.
“It should not prove too disruptive but that said if you have plans to head into the mountains this weekend, it’s going to be very cold.
“There will be lots of snow around, so not the best conditions to be out and about.
“But it should all be fairly limited away from the mountains.”
He did not think there would be enough snow to provide the country’s ski centres with any sort of boost.