An amber warning for heavy snow has been issued by the Met Office as Tayside braces for the return of freezing conditions.
The alert will come into force at 3pm and remain in place until 10am on Thursday, with the white stuff due to land even at lower levels.
The amber warning covers much of the central Highlands, Cairngorms and Perthshire, descending down through the central belt and into the borders.
A separate yellow-level warning for snow and ice also came into place across Tayside and Fife at 8am on Wednesday and will elapse at 9pm on Thursday. Locally, only Dundee, and the Angus and Fife coasts, are outwith this danger area.
And a new snow and ice warning has been issued for Saturday, covering the period between 3am and 9pm.
Amber warnings means the forecast snow is considered both more likely and will have a greater impact than a yellow alert.
According to the Met Office, the heavy snow is expected to cause disruption on roads and rail.
There could also be power cuts and issues with mobile phone coverage.
⚠️The @Metoffice has issued an Amber weather warning for heavy snow across parts of the country.
— Michael Matheson MSP (@MathesonMichael) January 13, 2021
Traffic Scotland is advising motorists to “only drive if essential” with Bear Scotland asking people to “drive to the road conditions and stay weather aware”.
The forecaster added: “Rain will turn to snow across Scotland on Wednesday afternoon and evening, initially on high ground, but increasingly to lower levels.
“During Wednesday evening and night the risk of snow will extend southwards into more of northern England. 10 to 20 cm snow is likely to accumulate above 200 metres with greater amounts at higher elevations.
“Amounts at low levels (below 100 metres) are less certain, but 5 to 10 cm is likely in some places by Thursday morning.
“Snow will persist into Thursday morning, slowly dying out during the afternoon.”
Freezing January weather
It comes after sub-zero temperatures brought sheet ice to roads and pavements across Tayside and Fife last week.
It was so chilly that ice hockey fan Ben Stark, 9, managed to practise his skating outside his home in Inchture – while in Dundee local figure-skaters took to a frozen stretch of water in Caird Park.
The freezing conditions don’t look likely to subside any time soon, with forecasters warning of the coldest January in nine years in Scotland.
Last week’s weather fuelled speculation of another big freeze in Scotland similar to the Beast from the East in 2018.
A sudden stratospheric warming event has taken place; however forecasters are still unsure if it will lead to an enduring cold spell.
Last week Met Office spokesman Oli Claydon said: “There is an “increasing likelihood of cold conditions.”