Borderers are being warned to brace themselves for disruption as snow hits the region again this week.
A series of weather warnings for snow have been issued by the Met Office, both yellow ones advising people to beware of potential problems and an amber one urging them to be prepared.
A yellow warning for snow is in force throughout tomorrow, February 27, with rain and sleet forecast to start with, followed by scattered snow showers. Up to 5cm of snow is expected to fall tomorrow.
The heaviest snowfalls are expected on Wednesday, February 28, with an amber warning in force from 6am that day until noon the day after for most of the Borders.
The Met Office has advised that snow amounts – and, consequently, impacts – will be very variable due to the nature of showers, but it is predicting snowfalls of up to 10cm widely on Wednesday, with some parts of the region seeing 15cm to 20cm due to drifting.
There is also a risk of lightning on Wednesday, potentially power supplies.
Very low temperatures are also expected throughout the week.
If the forecasts are correct, this week’s will be the third widespread snowfall of the year to hit the Borders
The emergency planning centre at Scottish Borders Council’s Newtown headquarters is to open at 6am tomorrow, with any decisions to close any schools being made early tomorrow morning once overnight conditions are assessed.
Decisions on school closures for Wednesday and potentially Thursday will be made on Tuesday evening following consultation with partners such as Police Scotland.
Arrangements for Wednesday and Thursday will be reviewed tomorrow once more detailed weather forecasts are available.
Winter maintenance operations will be ongoing overnight and throughout this week to keep main routes open where possible.
However, the heavy snow predicted, alongside very cold temperatures, means conditions are expected to be challenging and drivers should consider whether any planned journeys are really necessary.
If they do travel, they should be fully prepared by carrying items such as medication if required, warm clothes, a fully charged mobile phone and a shovel.
Council chief executive Tracey Logan said: “This week appears to be one of the most challenging we have experienced in recent years, with heavy, drifting snow and very low temperatures having the potential to cut off rural communities.
“However, we are prepared, with salt stockpiled and gritting crews ready to do their best to keep main routes open across the Borders.
“Due to the severe conditions, it maybe that many minor and side roads are not cleared until the primary routes are.
“We would ask Borders residents to make sure they are fully prepared for the winter weather, and they should keep up to date with the latest information by signing up for SB Alert, listening to local radio and checking our website and Facebook and Twitter pages.
“Due to the prolonged adverse weather expected, people are also asked to check on elderly or vulnerable family members, friends and neighbours, assisting wherever possible.”
Anyone able to provide care for family or friends during the severe weather this week is asked to contact the client’s care provider directly or, failing that, SB Cares on 01896 662701.