Borderers are being advised to prepare for significant disruption this week with a series of weather warnings for snow issued.

A Yellow (Be Aware) weather warning for snow is in place throughout Tuesday, with rain and sleet to start with followed by scattered snow showers which are expected to result in up to 5cms of snow.

The most intense snowfall is expected on Wednesday, with an Amber (Be Prepared) warning in force from 6am Wednesday to 12 noon on Thursday for the majority 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 is predicting snowfall of 5 to 10cms widely on Wednesday, with some areas seeing 15 to 20cms due to drifting.

There is also a risk of lightning on Wednesday, which could affect power supplies.

Very low temperatures are also expected throughout the week, with wind chill making it feel even colder.

The Emergency Planning Centre at Council Headquarters is to open at 6am tomorrow (Tuesday, February 27), 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 Tuesday evening. 

Any decision to close schools will be made following consultation with partners such as Police Scotland, consideration of all options, and in the interest of the safety of pupils, staff, parents and carers.

The situation for Wednesday and Thursday will be reviewed and discussed tomorrow, when more detailed weather forecasts will be 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 the very cold temperatures mean conditions are expected to be challenging and drivers should consider if their journey is necessary.

If they do travel, they should be fully prepared to be self-resilient, carrying items such as medication if required, warm clothes, a fully charged mobile phone and a shovel.

Tracey Logan, Chief Executive, SBC, 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 should keep up to date with the latest information by signing up for SB Alert, listening to local radio and checking SBC’s 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.