SOME Borders communities “could be cut off” amid heavy snow, the Met Office has cautioned – while upping its weather warning to amber.
The warning has been cast across the Borders, Dumfries and Galloway and Lothian.
Some areas could see as much as 20cm of snow on the ground, according to the Met Office.
A Met Office spokesperson said: “Rain will turn to snow across Scotland on Wednesday afternoon and evening, initially on high ground, but increasingly to lower levels.
“During Wednesday evening and night the risk of snow will extend southwards into more of northern England.
“10 to 20cm snow is likely to accumulate above 200 metres with greater amounts at higher elevations. Amounts at low levels (below 100 metres) are less certain, but 5 to 10cm is likely in some places by Thursday morning.
“Snow will persist into Thursday morning, slowly dying out during the afternoon.”
The Met Office says there is a “good chance that some rural communities could get cut off” by the snow, warning that power cuts are “likely”.
Travel delays are also expected, with cancellations of flights and train journeys also “likely”.
Speaking before the amber warning, Scottish Borders Council’s emergency planning officer Jim Fraser said: “With widespread snow and some freezing rain possible over the course of Wednesday and Thursday, there is the strong potential for disruption across our road network and communities. We may even see this warning upgraded to an amber warning if necessary.
“It is expected that the effects of these adverse weather conditions will continue to cause disruption for residents into Friday morning.
“I would advise all members of the public to take extreme care when travelling and, in line with the current ‘Stay at Home’ message in relation to COVID-19, avoid all transport unless your journey is absolutely essential.
“Alongside a range of partners we are monitoring the forecast closely and winter maintenance operations will run as required and we will continue to update residents through the free SB Alert messaging system, our website, social media channels and local media.”
UPDATE – 2.30pm – January 13, 2021
Following the amber alert, Mr Fraser said: “It is essential that residents take notice of this upgraded weather warning.
“The forecast is for some very challenging conditions, with persistent snow likely for a large part of the area. This will make travel conditions very difficult, through until Thursday.
“Our winter maintenance teams are operating from 1pm, covering all primary and secondary routes, with crews available throughout the evening and overnight. We are also bringing in additional resources to support snow clearance efforts and to ensure we can keep critical routes open and support emergency services.”
SBC says kerbside waste and recycling collections will continue as planned, although crews may be unable to complete all routes.