The sun is out in amongst the wintry showers and strong northeasterly winds. Heavy snow and drifting is continuing to wreak havoc in the Highlands, with dozens of roads closed, rail services disrupted and schools off. Due to a heavy northeasterly swell, our ferry link with Ullapool remains disrupted for another day. Supplies are diverted through Tarbert in Harris, 40 miles south of Stornoway. The TravelScotland website is practically inaccessible this afternoon, as thousands of people try to find out whether their intended route is passable. That is better than shouting their heads off at the poor souls at Radio Scotland who only relay the news about bad road conditions - as one presenter put it at 8 am this morning, they are not causing it.
At 12.30 pm, the following routes were closed:
A939 Tomintoul - Cockbridge
A93 Braemar - Spittal of Glenshee
A889 Dalwhinnie - Newtonmore
A9 Dalnacardoch - Blair Atholl
A835 Aultguish - Braemore Junction
A cruiseliner has crashed into a dock at Sharm al-Sheikh in Egypt, killing three sailors. The Costa Europa encountered severe weather as it approached the dock in the early hours of this morning. Its complement of passengers have been accommodated in hotels in the town.