Operational note: Heavy snow showers and strong winds expected 

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Deep snow on roads in Ollaberry today. Credit: SIC

With heavy snow showers forecast to continue, combined with increasing winds, Shetland Islands Council is asking drivers to consider whether they need to travel today.  

Lying snow is affecting roads across Shetland, and road conditions continue to be difficult in the North Mainland and the North Isles.  Winds are increasing this afternoon with gales expected, along with more persistent and intense snow showers. 

Increased snow drifts are likely to lead to many roads becoming impassable later.  Strong winds, drifting snow and deteriorating weather conditions means that Council gritting crews are unlikely to be able to keep roads open.  

The current Met Office weather warning for Shetland is in place until 11am tomorrow morning (Wednesday).  Snow showers are forecast to continue across Shetland today with the heaviest and most prolonged snow showers likely this evening, accompanied by winds gusting up to 60 mph.  Winds are forecast to ease in the early hours of Wednesday.

With temperatures expected to rise on Thursday and Friday, there’s a prospect of a thaw and improved road conditions across Shetland. 

In the meantime, Shetland Islands Council is asking that people continue to support each other and to look out for any vulnerable neighbours and family members.  

Anyone with an urgent need is asked to contact Duty Social Work on 01595 744468 (during office hours) or 01595 695611 (out of hours).  Council staff will do what they can to link anyone to the help they need. 

Shetland Emergency Planning Forum has met today with local emergency services and resilience partners, including the Council and NHS Shetland, discussing their continued community response to this prolonged spell of wintry conditions. 

Met Office weather warnings can be found online 

Published: 14th March 2023