• Text size      
  • Send this article to a friend
  • Print this article

Scotland on standby for 90mph gales and heavy rain

Severe gale-force winds with gusts of up to 90mph could hit parts of Scotland today, forecasters have warned.

Heavy rain is also forecast into tomorrow and could cause "severe disruption" in combination with the wind, the Met Office said.

It has issued amber "be prepared" warnings of wind for the Highlands, Western Isles and Strathclyde, and less severe yellow "be aware" warnings for the rest of Scotland.

Gusts of 70-80mph are expected within the amber warning area, and to around 90mph in some of the more exposed locations in western Scotland and the Western Isles.

The Met Office has also issued yellow warnings of rain for the Highlands, Western Isles, Strathclyde, Central, Tayside, Fife, South-West Scotland and Lothian and Borders.

Transport Scotland said it is closely monitoring the situation along with its partners, including the local authorities, the Scottish Environment Protection Agency and Police Scotland, to ensure they are prepared for the conditions.

Traffic Scotland operator manager Stein Connelly said: "The Met Office is telling us that the north-west Highlands and Western Isles are likely to face disruption due to the strong winds this evening and into Thursday.

"We would advise people in these areas to prepare for some travel disruption and to allow extra time for their journeys. They should also check the relevant websites for up-to-date travel information.

"Transport Scotland is in regular contact with the Met Office, Police Scotland operating companies and Network Rail as well as the ferry operators and will activate our Multi Agency Response Team through the night to cover the morning peak to ensure the maximum response to any incidents caused by the high winds."

Forecasters predicted that the weather will be at its worst overnight.

Chris Burton, a forecaster with MeteoGroup, said: "A storm system is moving in off the Atlantic towards the north-west Highlands.

"It's really through this evening and overnight that the winds are going to be at their strongest. Most of Scotland will see gusts of 50-70mph and north-west Scotland and the western and northern isles could see gusts of 90mph in some places, so there will be some damaging gusts of wind for a time.

"There's also going to be some quite heavy rain that will sweep in, and following behind there will be colder air so we could see some wintry showers with snow on higher ground."

The weather is expected to remain wet and windy in the run-up to Christmas.

Rail, ferry and air passengers are advised to check individual service operators' websites before travelling.

A spokesman for ferry operator Caledonian MacBrayne said: "As we move into the Christmas holiday period we are aware that many people will be finalising their travel plans and in light of today's amber alert, would advise ferry travellers to check local weather forecasts and consider alternative arrangements in the event that services are disrupted.

"We fully appreciate that many people will be intending to use our ferry services but the safety of passengers, crew and ships is our number one priority."

Contextual targeting label: 
Weather

Commenting & Moderation

We moderate all comments on HeraldScotland on either a pre-moderated or post-moderated basis.
If you're a relatively new user then your comments will be reviewed before publication and if we know you well and trust you then your comments will be subject to moderation only if other users or the moderators believe you've broken the rules

Moderation is undertaken full-time 9am-6pm on weekdays, and on a part-time basis outwith those hours. Please be patient if your posts are not approved instantly.

200873