Edinburgh just got its first ever RED ALERT from the Met Office for extreme snow

It’s a big coat day folks

The Met Office has issued its first ever red alert for Scotland, as heavy snow showers are expected to hit today and later on tonight.

As the highest possible warning, the red alert states: "You should take action now to keep yourself and others safe from the impact of the weather.

"Widespread damage, travel and power disruption and risk to life is likely. You must avoid dangerous areas and follow the advice of the emergency services and local authorities".

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The alert will run from 3pm today until 10am tomorrow, Thursday 1st, with the areas affected including Central, Tayside & Fife, SW Scotland, Lothian Borders and Strathclyde.

In its warning The Met Office said: "Heavy snow showers and drifting of lying snow in the strong easterly winds will become more widespread across the area later on Wednesday afternoon, through the evening and overnight into Thursday.

"Roads will become blocked by deep snow, with many stranded vehicles and passengers. Long delays and cancellations on bus, rail and air travel are expected.

"Some communities could become cut off for several days. Long interruptions to power supplies and other services."

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The Chief Forecaster's assessment was as follows: "Snow showers already affecting the area will become heavier and more prolonged later on Wednesday afternoon and at times through the evening and overnight period, with 5 cm of snow falling within an hour in some places and lying snow reaching 20-30 cm and possibly 40 cm in a few places by mid morning on Thursday.

"Strong easterly winds will lead to significant drifting of lying snow."

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