THE Met Office has warned of heavy rain and cold winds heading north as Scotland braces itself for the fallout Storm Aurore.

Parts of the country could be in for "snow flurries" in the coming days, according to the forecasters.

The central belt and west coast are also set to be battered by heavy rainfall in what they described as an "unsettled weekend".

It comes as parts of Aberdeenshire were hit last night by the first case of snowfall of the season.

Braemar experienced snowfall last night with locals taking to social media to share the first instance of the winter weather – with STV weatherman Sean Batty sharing the news with the caption: “And so it begins…”

A Met Office Spokesperson said: “Thursday will see the continued influence of some snow flurries over high ground in Scotland.

“Friday is set to be drier for many, but rain showers are still expected in western Scotland.

“The weekend is set to see some more persistent rain, with the heaviest rain expected in western Scotland, where 40-60mm of rain could fall in 24 hours.”

The heavy downpours set to hit Scotland come off the back of a high number of emergency service calls from people reporting flooding in southern England after the area was hit overnight by heavy rain and strong winds from Storm Aurore moving in from France.

The Met Office issued a yellow rain warning covering most of southern England for Wednesday night and into Thursday, meaning people living there could see transport delays, flooding and power issues.

Forecasters report up to 50mm of rain and 45mph winds in the worst affected areas.

Essex Fire Service said they had received more than 120 calls up till 2.30am regarding flood-related incidents.

The Met Office issued yellow rain warnings for the southern counties and Channel Islands until 3am on Thursday, but said the most severe impact of the storm would be over northern France.

It added the unsettled weather was likely to continue for the rest of the week, with showers and breezy conditions across western Scotland and some areas of central and northern England and Wales on Friday.

Forecasters predict there to be more persistent rain over the weekend, with the heaviest rain expected in western Scotland, where 40-60mm could fall in 24 hours.

Northern Ireland, northern England and Wales, could see up to 20mm of rain, while southern and central areas will see light rain.