Scotland has closed schools and travellers have been warned to expect disruption on key routes on Thursday due to gale-force winds, as Britain’s first major winter storm of the season sweeps in.
Schools in western, central and southern Scotland are closed after forecasters issued a “red alert” and warned of winds of up 100 miles per hour (160 kilometres per hour).
Police are warning that the strong winds will make conditions on the roads treacherous and have said they may advise against all travel as the day wears on.
“By travelling, motorists may be putting themselves at serious risk, such is the severity of the forecast conditions,” said police chief constable Allan Moffatt.
The storm swept into western Scotland early Thursday, hitting Glasgow.
The gales are expected to spread across the country and be at their strongest between 3:00 pm and 6:00 pm, according to the Met Office.
Some snow is expected to fall but it will quickly be followed by heavy rain and stormy conditions, said the forecaster.
Although Scotland is set to bear the brunt of the bad weather, strong winds are also expected in parts of England.