A huge snowfall overnight on Tuesday is causing travel disruption in southern Scotland.

Amber warnings for snow and ice remain in place until 8am in southern Scotland and Northern Ireland, with forecasts of between 15cm (5.9in) and 25cm (9.8in) of snow on higher ground and up to 10cm (3.9in) at lower levels.

The warnings also cover Central Scotland, Tayside, Fife, Lothian and Borders and Strathclyde.

The Moffat Mountain Rescue Team was called to drivers in Lanarkshire, who were stuck in their cars on the M74 on Tuesday after the heavy snowfall.

Several drivers reported being stuck on the motorway for up to 11 hours as authorities attempted to clear the snow and reopen the road.

Throughout the night, the southbound and northbound carriageways were closed and reopened numerous times, as problems resurfaced in the continuing blizzard.

:: UK weather: The latest Sky News forecast

It may not improve quickly, as much of Scotland and Northern Ireland will still be covered by less severe yellow snow warnings until 6pm on Wednesday, and the white stuff could also yet make an appearance as far south as Wales and the Midlands, with between 2cm (0.8in) and 6cm (2.4in) possible in the hills.

The Met Office said: A gradual improvement is likely on Wednesday for most areas.

Travel delays on roads are likely, as are public transport cancellations, and some vehicles may become stranded, more especially on higher routes.

There is a chance of power cuts, while services such as mobile phone coverage may be affected.

A spokesman for the Met Office added: It’s looking pretty unsettled, there’s a lot of weather to come.

Through the night there will be some heavy showers which bring the risk of several centimetres of snow and risk of ice.

Gritters were out in force across Scotland on Tuesday, with schools closed and major disruption on the roads after subzero temperatures and heavy snowfall on Monday night.

Motorists endured minor collisions on the roads in the Highlands and Strathclyde, with sleet and snow causing major disruption on the M9, M80, A720, M77, A7, M73 and A9 at Dalwhinnie – which was closed for two hours due to a jack-knifed lorry.

Breakdown cover provider Green Flag warns there could be more than 120,000 breakdowns on Britain’s roads this week due to the treacherous wintry conditions.

Green Flag’s Simon Henrick said: After a variable and relatively mild winter period, the changing weather conditions may take some drivers by surprise this week, so it’s important that drivers do all they can to stay safe in the more challenging conditions.

By thoroughly checking their cars before leaving home, approaching the roads with caution and keeping plenty of distance between cars drivers will decrease the risk of encountering a problem while on the roads this week.

Winter Driving Tips:

:: Check your speed and use gentle driver inputs
:: Give more warning than usual to other drivers
:: Keep plenty of distance between cars
:: Be extra wary of black ice, as it’s easy to miss
:: Approach corners at a steady speed, in as low a gear as possible
:: Be familiar with your car’s ventilation system to prevent steaming up

Despite a lack of snow, it was bitterly cold and windy in southern parts of the UK, with ice expected and temperatures unlikely to go above -1C in London on Tuesday night.

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(c) Sky News 2018: Travel warnings after parts of UK hit by heavy snow