Icy conditions are expected to sweep across northern Scotland, prompting the Met Office to bring forward its yellow weather warning.
The Met Office had already issued a warning for tomorrow and Wednesday, with winds of up to 70mph and snow expected across Grampian and the Highlands.
But now it has told people to expect wintry showers and icy stretches in Aberdeenshire, Moray and the Highlands from 3pm today.
The Met Office said: “With cold air spreading south across Scotland bringing wintry showers, icy stretches are expected to form by late afternoon. Some snow showers are likely but ice is expected to be the main hazard during the afternoon and evening before snow starts to accumulate overnight and becomes an additional hazard.”
Motorists are being advised to be prepared for some potentially difficult driving conditions, such as reduced visibility and untreated roads.
Winds of up to 85mph could hit Orkney and Caithness
Forecasters are still expecting strong winds to batter the region from 10am tomorrow, which is likely to bring “frequent wintry showers”.
Gusts of up to 60-70mph are likely in exposed coastal areas, while Orkney and Caithness could be hit by wind of up to 75-85mph for a brief period over lunchtime.
⚠️ Yellow weather warning issued ⚠️
Wind across northern parts of Scotland
Tuesday 1000 – 2359
Latest info 👉 https://t.co/QwDLMfRBfs
— Met Office (@metoffice) January 3, 2022
Although the Met Office expect the wind to ease across the board during the late afternoon and into the evening, they have advised travellers to expect disruption.
Ferries may be cancelled and there may be delays for high-sided vehicles on exposed routes and bridges.
Train services may also be impacted, with wet weather already delaying the West Highland Line today.
NEW: Due to a speed restriction between Garelochhead and Crianlarich trains here will need to run at reduced speed for today. This means services will be delayed on our West Highland line. ^Ste https://t.co/3txuwEtWlZ pic.twitter.com/IDVEnq0a1p
— ScotRail (@ScotRail) January 3, 2022
Coastal communities on flood alert
The Met Office has also warned coastal communities there could be a risk of flooding caused by large waves, and Sepa has also put out alerts.
Sepa say that due to the “combination of spring tides, a surge, wind and waves” could cause coastal flooding, with the greatest risk at high tide.
⚠️Coastal flooding due to strong winds, surge, high tides and large waves could impact coastal areas, particularly the islands and north coast. Be prepared for localised spray and wave overtopping affecting low lying land and roads.
— Scottish Environment Protection Agency (SEPA) (@ScottishEPA) January 3, 2022
The yellow wind warning is in place for Aberdeen, Aberdeenshire, Moray, Highlands and Western Isles, Orkney and Shetland.
Forecasters have left the snow warning in place until 9am on Wednesday.