Community Resilience – Severe Weather Warnings

Information as supplied today by our Community Resilience contact

Weather

  • Rest of Tuesday and overnight into Wednesday
    Scattered showers will continue to push in from the east with marked deteriorations followed by clear, if not sunny, spells. The showers will be more focussed across eastern areas and the existing Yellow warning will remain as it is covering all areas east of the M74, Paisley, Glencoe and Ullapool (excluding the Northern Isles). Within in this warning the most likely snow accumulations are generally 0-2cm, however there is potential for 5-10cm of snow in places where showers align, more likely over higher ground in the east.
  • Wednesday – Thursday evening
    During Wednesday the showers will become heavier with greater amounts of snow accumulating in places, often in quite a short space of time. The heaviest of the showers will generally be more focussed across central and eastern areas, however they will feed through the Central Belt at times. The Amber warning comes into force at 0600 on Wednesday morning and will now run until 1800 on Thursday and be extended to now include all areas east of (and including) the M74, so this will mean the addition of the western Borders, much of South Lanarkshire and Renfrewshire. It will remain largely unchanged further north, please see the map of the warning on our website for the boundary.
    This is assessed as a Medium likelihood of High impacts, which is important to note as this highlights the potential for greater impacts than many of the Ambers we issue. Impacts could include significant disruption to travel, roads blocked by deep snow, rural communities becoming cut off and long interruptions to power supplies and other utilities. If we were able to specifically highlight any areas that we had high likelihood of these impacts then further escalation of the warning could be possible, however due to the nature of the conditions this may have a relatively short lead time but we are keen to raise awareness that the potential is there.
    Within this warning area 5-10cm is expected quite widely, but where showers become more organised some areas of 15-25cm is possible. However due to the powdery nature of the snow and strong easterly winds some drifting is likely which can exaggerate the snow amounts even more in some places, with near blizzard conditions possible, particularly over higher ground. An additional hazard is that the heaviest showers are likely to have some lightning as well which increases the risk of power cuts.
    A wider Yellow warning covers a larger area of the country except for the very far west and Northern Isles. Here we can still expect to see some heavy snow showers but just not as frequent meaning that accumulations should not build up as much.
  • Later Thursday through to the weekend
    (Storm Emma is linked to this period further south)
    The showers will tend to become less heavy and frequent during this period, however it will remain cold with further accumulating snow. A Yellow warning for snow is in place until the end of Thursday for much of Scotland except for the sheltered parts of southwestern D&G and the western Invernesshire and the Western Isles, however this will be extended to include Friday and Saturday and will be assessed as a Medium likelihood of Low impacts.
    You may have seen some mention of Storm Emma in the media. This is slightly confusing and is due to the fact that the Portuguese Met Service have named a system which will affect them later in the week as Storm Emma. Due to naming convention we have to retain the original name that affects us in any communication. So technically speaking the stronger winds and more persistent snow and possible freezing rain across parts of England on Friday will be due to Storm Emma. A storm is not expected across Scotland however some of the associated impacts will be felt across parts of the UK.
  • Later weekend and next week
    At this stage it looks like the cold conditions are likely to remain in place across Scotland with further spells of snow moving in from the south or east. As details become clearer we will keep you posted.

As usual the full details of the warnings can be found at https://www.metoffice.gov.uk/public/weather/warnings
Some indication of the impacts which might be expected can be found at https://www.metoffice.gov.uk/guide/weather/severe-weather-advice
Utilities

SP Energy Networks (SPEN) NORTH – LEVEL 3

  • SPEN(N) are declaring LEVEL 3 from 12:00hrs Tuesday 27/2/18 due to forecast severe weather. Snow showers will move in from the east/north-east today.
  • If the event becomes a higher level of emergency (as below) I will provide you with updates and further details.
  • Level 2 – Emergency of duration up to 24 hours, will be declared when there are a significant number of customers off supply or a significant unplanned transmission event has occurred but where supplies are expected to be restored within 24 hours.
  • Level 1 – Prolonged emergency of duration over 24 hours. This is our highest emergency level and will be declared when a significant number of customers are off supply or a significant unplanned transmission event has occurred and restoration times are likely to be greater than 24 hours.
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