The Met Office said: "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".
Theresa May has been forced to move her long-awaited Brexit speech from Newcastle to London, while households are being urged to "carry on cooking" after the National Grid issued a "gas deficit warning", prompting fears of a shortage.
They have also been issued for South Wales and the South West from 3pm on Thursday until 2am on Friday.
He told BBC Scotland's John Beattie: "It couldn't be clearer, couldn't be simpler - don't travel, avoid travel, because if you do you will not only be disrupted but, as I said, potentially putting yourself and others into danger".
The amber warning came into effect from 6am this morning and will run until 6pm tomorrow night.
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There has only been one other red snow warning before in the United Kingdom, for south Wales in 2013.
"Long delays and cancellations of public transport seem highly likely".
The red warning has now expired, but we still have amber and then yellow warnings in some parts of Scotland over the next few days, which will affect most of Scotland apart from the far west until Saturday. Some roads are likely to become blocked by deep snow, stranding vehicles and passengers. "Long interruptions to power supplies and other services such as telephone and mobile phone networks, could occur".
Motorists on the M80 near Glasgow reported being stuck for up to 13 hours, with some spending the night in their cars, and others abandoning their vehicles on the motorway.
In Ireland, where a red weather alert is also in place, people are being advised to stay indoors to sit out the worst of the blizzards sweeping the British Isles.
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"Transport disruption is likely in areas with significant snowfall and the cold could have an impact on people's health", Met Office Chief Forecaster Laura Patterson said in a statement.
An airport spokesman said: "Further snow is forecast during the day which will make travel conditions to and from the airport extremely challenging".
Yellow and Amber warnings for snow remain in place for the region and across the United Kingdom for tomorrow and into the weekend.
A yellow Met Office Be Aware weather warning is in place for the Isle of Wight for snow and ice, until midnight tonight (Friday).
Edinburgh Airport also tweeted to say most airlines have cancelled their operations had cancelled flights from there until lunchtime on Thursday.
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LIVE: Buses delayed and suspended again in Sheffield due to snowThe updated Yellow warning states: "Patchy freezing rain will affect some southern parts of England and well as west Wales until early afternoon, leading to icy stretches which may be hard to see".