Satellite images showed how the winter snowfalls blanketed the entire country.
Satellite images showed how the winter snowfalls blanketed the entire country.

Remembering the blizzards of 2010: 12 dramatic photos of Scotland under snow

It was the worst winter in two generations, causing chaos for millions and practically grinding the country to a halt.

Friday, 13th November 2020, 7:00 am

The harsh and sustained winter of 2010 will live long in the memory for those who experienced it.

The first flurries of snow fell in late November with forecasters warning the public to brace themselves for several weeks of blizzards and sub-zero temperatures.

Snow fell by the skip load and refused to stop, resulting in the entire UK being transformed into a winter wonderland throughout December and beyond Christmas.

On December 2, the UK’s coldest temperature that winter was recorded in the Scottish Highlands, as Altnaharra dipped to -21.3C. The average temperature for the UK as a whole that month fell to -1C, making it the coldest December since Met Office records began a century earlier.

The cold snap was dire news for the UK economy, which was estimated to have lost up to £1.2 billion a day, with retailers badly hit due to a marked decrease in footfall as schools closed and people stayed at home.

With many places buried under several feet, thousands of Scots were forced to walk to work as vital transport links succumbed to the weather.

One of the worst hit was the Forth Road Bridge, which closed due to snow for the first time ever.

There was an increase in accidents on the roads as gritters struggled to keep routes safe. In Aberdeenshire, a woman in her 60s was killed in a three-vehicle pile-up as a result of the treacherous conditions.

Airports were also badly hit, with Edinburgh Airport and others closed several times in December.

The snow would eventually begin to subside in late January, but made a surprise return two months later.

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