PEOPLE returning to work and school after the holidays today have been warned to expect gale-force winds and the risk of coastal flooding causing delays on the road and railways.

The Met Office has issued a weather warning, with winds of 70mph expected until around midnight across much of Scotland, including the west of Scotland, Lothian and Borders and Highlands.

People have also been urged to remain vigilant near the sea and waterways after nearly twice the average rain fell over parts of the country. December rainfall in the west of Scotland was 90% higher than average, while overall Scottish rainfall was nearly two-thirds above the long-term average.

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The Belfast Coastguard has warned the Scottish coastline will be at risk as a tidal surge is likely to produce large "over-topping" waves in coastal areas.

Scottish Transport Minister Keith Brown has pledged his efforts to limit disruption where possible.

He said: "As always we will be doing everything we can to keep Scotland moving."