The cold spell has come to an end here in the Western Isles of Scotland, with the thermometer at the dizzying heights of 6C / 43F this afternoon. There was some drizzle earlier on, but it is now dry. The sun will be setting in the next 20 minutes (it's 3.20pm) and it's getting dark. The ice on the pavements is melting, fortunately, as it was rather a nuisance over the past 10 days. The cold weather will return by Sunday or Monday, but the Met Office is not specific as to what shape it will take.
The Met Office has come in for rather a lot of stick, as it is being given the blame for the travel disruption in central Scotland on Monday and Tuesday. The Scottish Government says the Met Office did not indicate that the amount of snow would fall that did come down; however, the fact that were was going to be a substantial fall of snow (up to 5-10 cm) was forecast on Sunday evening. However, the role of coordinating the response to the severe weather was not taken up adequately by the Scottish Government, which is deplorable. It says enough that the First Minister was more interested in presenting his Christmas Card rather than in dealing with the emergency; by 9pm on Monday, people had been stranded for up to 12 hours in their vehicles already.