THE Met Office have issued a red weather warning for Clackmannanshire, beginning at 3pm today.

The forecast was upgraded following sustained snowfall across the country.

However, the front is predicted to worsen this afternoon with a further warning against travel being issued.

Delays to public transport are expected, with a likelihood of passengers being stranded on roads "blocked by deep snow".

Power cuts are also possible, with rural communities being braced for periods of isolation which could last "several days".

The Scottish Government and Police Scotland issued a warning not to travel across the central belt today, unless absolutely necessary.

The Met Office forecast read: "Heavy snow showers and drifting of lying snow in the strong easterly winds will become more widespread across the area later on Wednesday afternoon, through the evening and overnight into Thursday.

"Roads will become blocked by deep snow, with many stranded vehicles and passengers. Long delays and cancellations on bus, rail and air travel are expected.

"Some communities could become cut off for several days. Long interruptions to power supplies and other services."

The chief forecaster added: "Snow showers already affecting the area will become heavier and more prolonged later on Wednesday afternoon and at times through the evening and overnight period, with five cm of snow falling within an hour in some places and lying snow reaching 20-30 cm and possibly 40 cm in a few places by mid morning on Thursday.

"Strong easterly winds will lead to significant drifting of lying snow."

Transport Minister Humza Yousaf added: “This is the first red warning that has been issued for snow under the current system which means that conditions in affected areas will be extremely treacherous.

“I would urge people to follow police advice and avoid travel in those areas affected by the red and amber warnings. We recognise it will have an impact on people travelling to and from work over the next 24 hours and so I would encourage employers to be as flexible as possible with their staff.

“If you need to travel, your journey is likely to be disrupted and in many instances there may be cancellations, there is the possibility you could be stranded and this could interfere with emergency services and those clearing the roads.

"I would urge parents to continue to check school notices with their local authorities before making any decisions on travel."

Dr Laura Ryan, NHS 24's medical director, has advised Clacks residents to stay indoors if possible, but if they feel unwell to check the health information service at

She said: "Because the weather is making it so difficult to get out, we would urge people to check NHS inform if they feel unwell. The advantage of this is that you can get help quickly without going outdoors. The self-help guides for illnesses such as fever, sore throats and diarrhoea can help you decide whether you can manage with self-care at home or you need to talk to a health professional.

"If you do need to visit your GP or local pharmacy you can get contact details from the service directory at – I would recommend people do this before setting off just to check local services are open. If you are going out make sure you are dressed appropriately for the weather."

Clackmannanshire Council closed schools for today and tomorrow, with an announcement for Friday to be made at around noon on Thursday.

Transport disruptions are likely, with First Buses warning that some services may be withdrawn if the safety of drivers is compromised.

David Phillips, First Scotland East operations director, said: “Due to the continued worsening of the weather effecting road conditions, all First Bus services at this stage will be brought off the road for 15.30pm today.

"A decision will be made as the evening progresses if buses will return to operating, but we are making this decision based on advice from Police and Transport Scotland. We strongly advise people at this stage not to travel.”