THE Met Office has issued fresh weather warnings amid alerts already in place in Scotland.

On Thursday morning, the weather service issued a new yellow warning for snow and ice from midnight until 3pm on Friday, January 19. The warning covers Orkney, Shetland, Moray, and much of the Highlands, except the west coast.

Further yellow warnings were issued for Sunday and Monday, covering the entirety of Scotland, except Shetland. The wind alerts are in place from midnight on Sunday until 6am on Monday, January 22.

Amber warnings for snow are in place across Shetland, Orkney, and Sutherland until 6pm on Thursday. There are warnings or possible power cuts and that some rural communities could be cut off by snowfall.

Much of the UK endured temperatures below freezing overnight, with preliminary data from the Met Office indicating the mercury fell to as low as minus 13.6C at Tulloch Bridge in the Highlands.

It comes after the UK had its coldest night of the winter so far on Tuesday into Wednesday, when Dalwhinnie in the Highlands experienced a temperature of minus 14C.

All schools are closed on Thursday amid the wintry conditions in Orkney and in Shetland, where many have been shut since Monday.

More than 200 schools and nurseries are closed across the Highland region, around 130 are shut in Aberdeenshire and others had delayed openings, while in Moray nine schools and nurseries are closed due to the weather and others had late or staggered starts.

Met Office chief meteorologist Jason Kelly said: “With deep snow already lying on the ground for many in the northern half of the UK, we’re going to see a significant topping up of totals over the next couple of days, especially for those in the north of Scotland.

“Within the amber warning area, an additional 15-20cm of snow is possible in a few locations.

“Strengthening northwesterly winds will also cause some lying snow to drift, potentially bringing some additional hazards, such as temporary blizzard conditions.”

Travel warnings are also in place across Scotland.

On the railways, ScotRail said its local stopping Dundee-Arbroath, Montrose-Inverurie and Inverness-Elgin trains will not run, while services between Inverness and Edinburgh/Glasgow will take 30 minutes longer.

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Scotland’s transport minister Fiona Hyslop said: “We know from recent severe weather events that it’s important to plan ahead if you are looking to travel. With the Met Office issuing an updated amber warning for snow in the North Highlands and Northern Isles, travel planning becomes vital.

“Police Scotland is warning of a high risk of disruption for the parts of the country covered by the amber warning, but yellow warnings can also be impactful and cause delays. Please allow extra time for your journey and consider if it can be delayed until conditions have improved.”

She added: “Winter resilience plans have been in full effect with teams across Scotland working overnight to grit the trunk road network for essential journeys. Local roads may also be impacted, so please make sure your route is available, follow the travel advice from Police Scotland and drive to the conditions.”

National Rail warned the wintry weather could affect train journeys on Thursday.