Scots are being warned to expect disruption with snow and “challenging” weather conditions forecast for the coming days.
The Met Office has issued a yellow warning of snow for most of Scotland which is in force until midday on Sunday.
It has also issued an upgraded amber warning for snow which covers parts of the Highlands, Grampian, Tayside, Central and Fife, and runs for the whole of Friday until 6pm on Saturday evening.
The alert warns there is a chance of long delays and cancellations on bus and rail travel and power cuts, and that some rural communities might be cut off.
Transport Secretary Michael Matheson said: “The Met Office is warning us that this period of challenging weather is set to continue, and become more difficult for parts of the country at the end of the week and into the weekend.
“It’s important to remember the current Covid restrictions mean you should only be leaving your home for an essential purpose.
“Please consider if your journey is absolutely necessary before setting off, especially if you’re in the amber warning area.
“If you do have to make an essential journey during the warning period, you should make sure that you plan your journey in advance, drive to the conditions and follow Police Scotland travel advice.
“The forecast snow is likely to cause difficult conditions on the roads and the wider transport network.”
Transport Scotland said the trunk road network will be closely monitored, with dedicated patrols and road surface treatments.
The Multi-Agency Response Team was activated at the start of the week and will remain operational for the duration of the weather warnings.
The amber warning forecasts “persistent and heavy” snow, with 10-15cm possible at low levels and 20-30cm accumulating above about 150m.
Police Scotland Chief Superintendent Louise Blakelock said: “Government restrictions on only travelling if your journey is essential remain in place and so with an amber warning for snow, please consider if your journey really is essential and whether you can delay it until the weather improves.
“If you deem your journey really is essential, plan ahead and make sure you and your vehicle are suitably prepared by having sufficient fuel and supplies such as warm clothing, food, water and charge in your mobile phone in the event you require assistance.
“The Met Office, Traffic Scotland and Sepa websites and social media channels have valuable information about weather disruptions and we would encourage people to check these sites before setting off on their journey.”