SCOTTISH ski slopes are preparing for what could be the biggest week of the year as the cold snap continues.

More than 10cm of snow fell in northern Scotland on Monday and 20cm could fall later in the week as winter weather is expected to continue.

The conditions, which have been attributed to an arctic blast, have led to a number of yellow warnings across Scotland.

Following a “very chilly” start to Wednesday, the Met Office has issued several yellow weather warnings for snow and ice which may lead to injuries from slips and falls and cause travel disruption.

The warnings for Wednesday cover northern and eastern Scotland until 10am.

The Met Office’s chief meteorologist, Matthew Lehnert, said: “Further snow and hail showers are also expected to along northern coasts, especially in northern Scotland.”

Temperatures at Kinbrace in the Highlands dopped to this year’s record low of minus 15.2C overnight. 

Meanwhile, Moffat Mountain Rescue, based in Scotland, warned that conditions can change “very rapidly” in mountain areas.

Met Office deputy chief meteorologist Helen Caughey detailed weather changes over the second half of the week.

She said: “Through Thursday and Friday the snow risk spreads, to central and northern areas of the UK.

“Parts of Northern Ireland, Wales and northern England are expected to see the worst of the conditions develop from early on Thursday, with parts of Scotland and northern England then seeing snow arrive through Thursday afternoon.”

As commuters despair at the potential disruption to roads, skiers and snowboarders look set to rejoice with the blanketing bucking February’s mild weather.

Alison Grove, of Snowsport Scotland, said there was “a lot of pent-up demand for snowsports” north of the border, “especially as so many people who would normally travel abroad to ski have chosen not to because of the cost-of-living crisis and poor snow in the Alps”.

“Looking at the forecast, this could be our biggest week of the year,” she said.

“A lot of people have been watching the forecast with bated breath – this is just what we’ve been waiting for.

“December’s cold snap caught us unprepared but everyone across the mountain ranges is preparing for an influx of visitors in the days ahead.”

Mountain ranges in the east, including Cairngorm Mountain, Glenshee Ski Centre and The Lecht, look set to benefit most from the change in the weather.

And, Scotland’s governing body for snowsports said, given the possibility of heavy snow in the west there could also be some limited skiing and snowboarding at Nevis Range and Glencoe.

Snow machines have kept beginner slopes open in most ranges this year, but a lack of snowfall last month saw Snowsport Scotland being forced to cancel events this season.

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With the heavy downfalls expected there was renewed optimism that upcoming events, including the Scottish Slopestyle Championships on March 26, could get the go-ahead.

Simon Burnside, of The Lect Ski Centre, said he and his team were now working around the clock to prepare for an expected surge in visitors.

“We’ve been encouraged by what we’ve seen in the last 24 hours, and looking forward to the next 48 hours, we’re excited for the next blast of winter,” he said.

“Snowfall has filled in some runs, but more is required.

“The guys are excited – if it’s a good weekend and we get the good runs open we could be looking forward to the best weekend of the year."