Heavy snow hits parts of UK – with worse to come
Heavy snow has brought travel chaos to parts of the UK, leaving hundreds of motorists stranded in their vehicles overnight.
The severe weather left the M74 motorway in Scotland at a standstill, with jack-knifed lorries stopping traffic in both directions.
The Moffat Mountain Rescue Team were drafted in to help drivers stranded in the freezing conditions, as temperatures dropped to -4C (25F) overnight.
Rescuers, gritters and authorities were hampered in places by impatient motorists driving along the hard shoulder, delaying recovery.
Following the overnight snow, all schools in the Scottish Borders were closed "in the interests of the safety of pupils, staff, parents and carers".
Over 100 schools in Northern Ireland have also been closed due to the snow, which has also led to power cuts in over 23,000 homes and businesses.
At least 600 buildings were still without power this morning in Craigavon, Ballyclare, Newry and Ballymena.
A yellow severe warning for snow and ice is now in place for Northern Ireland and south west Scotland, who could see 10cm (4in) of snow, and up to 25cm (10cm) possible in high ground.
Strong to gale-force winds causing drifting of snow and blizzards will also add to the travel hazards.
The wintry conditions brought by Storm Fionn – the sixth storm of the year – are threatening winds of up to 75mph (120kph) as the storm approached the Atlantic coast.
Sky News Scotland Correspondent James Matthew, who has been helping people shovel their cars out of the snow, said: "We're in the middle of a three day spate of snow, and worse is yet to come.
"Overnight the M74, which is the main artery between Scotland and England, had tailbacks of up to six hours, with people trapped for hours in their cars due to the heavy snow."
"Gritters are trying to keep the roads clear, but it's still snowing, which is going to cause an issue as it doesn't allow the grit to get to the roads. Snow on snow clearly is going to pose a challenge over the next 24 hours.
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First Minister Nicola Sturgeon also urged people to be careful, tweeting: "The weather conditions will continue to be very difficult today. Please take care and follow advice from @policescotland and @trafficscotland."
Police Scotland are advising people to stay away from the M74 wherever possible.